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Vol. 9 No. 44

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Saudi Arabia deports more female pilgrims

. . . putting the people first

Senate opens public debate on constitution amendment

>> PAGE 2

>> PAGE 2

Zhul-Qadah 24, 1433 AH


Dame Jonathan may return today >> PAGE 5

Tambuwal knocks Jonathan over budget By Lawrence Olaoye


peaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, yesterday told President Goodluck Jonathan that reports coming from the House committees currently on oversight function to ascertain the level of implementation of the 2012 budget were unimpressive. The Speaker in his Vote of Thanks after Jonathan’s presentation of the 2013 appropriation estimates to the joint session of the National Assembly said: “As I speak, interim field oversight reports from House Committees on the 2012 budget implementation are clearly unimpressive both in terms of releases as well as utilization and this is a great challenge to all of us. “It is important to state at this point the clear provisions of Section 8 of the Appropriation Act to the effect that approved budgeted funds shall be released to MDAs “as at when due”. This is sadly observed more in breach.” Tambuwal, who observed Contd on Page 2

Budget highlights Education N426.53b Defence N348.91b Police N319. 65b Health N279.23b Works N183.5b Agriculture & Rural Dev N81.41b Power N74.26b

L-R: Vice-chairman Board of Trustees, Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), Ambassador Ladan Shuni, Chairman, Alhaji Aliko Mohammed, Auditor, Brigadier-General Mohammed Umar, and former Vice-President Dr. Alex Ekwueme, during Ohanaeze Ndi-Igbo meeting with ACF, yesterday in Enugu Photo: NAN

Jonathan presents N4.92tr budget for 2013 By Richard Ihediwa


resident Goodluck Jonathan yesterday presented a N4.92 trillion budget for the 2013 fiscal year to the joint session of the National Assembly even as he is now at logger heads with the House of Representatives over the appropriate oil sale benchmark for the budget. The N4.92 trillion 2013

Disagrees with lawmakers over oil benchmark Lifts duties on industrial, transport machinery budget reflects a five percent increase over the N4.7 trillion appropriated for 2012. The 2013 budget is accompanied by major economic recovery policies including the

lifting of import levies on importation of machinery for agricultural, power and transportation purposes with effect from January 1, 2013. While the President predicated

the budget on an increased oil benchmark of $75 per barrel based on an estimated 2.53 million barrel per day, the House of Representatives is insisting on Contd on Page 2




Saudi Arabia deports more female pilgrims


From Lawal Sa’idu Funtua, Katsina



















espite the seeming resolution of the NigeriaSaudi impasse over the deportation of female pilgrims, the Saudi Arabian authorities, yesterday, deported another set of 16 female pilgrims from Katsina state. Our correspondent gathered that the pilgrims who are all from Funtua zone were deported through Sultan Abubakar International Airport. Sokoto. The deportees, who looked visibly tired and frustrated by their ordeal, were transported to Katsina by road and were picked up by their relatives on arrival. The ordeal of the pilgrims, according to sources close to them started when their male maharrams (guardians) disappeared after reaching Jedda International Airport

leaving them to their fate. Our correspondent similarly gathered that the leadership of the state pilgrims board collected the passports of the deported pilgrims with the promise of making contact with Saudi authorities to find ways to take them back. In his reply to a text message sent to him over the issue, the executive secretary of the state pilgrims’ board, Alhaji Aminu Danbaba ,said the board was in a meeting discussing the issue. It could be recalled that in the middle of the airlift of the pilgrims, Saudi authorities had deported no fewer than 160 female pilgrims that were not accompanied by their male guardians. Similarly, two days ago, the Federal Government delegation led by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Waziri

Tambuwal, returned from Saudi Arabia with the promise that deported female pilgrims would be sent back to Makkah.

No response to the recent development could however be obtained from the Speaker as at press time yesterday.

Senate opens public debate on constitution amendment By Richard Ihediwa


he Senate will today open official public debate for further review of the 1999 constitution Interest groups including the Nigerian Governors Forum, bodies of traditional rulers across the country, civil society groups and cultural organisations among others are expected to officially submit their positions on items slated for considerations at the debate which is slated to hold at the International Conference Center in Abuja. Already the Senate Committee

on Constitution Review has slated July, 2013 for the presentation of a reviewed constitution even as it encouraged interests groups to use the review exercise to project their wishes and aspiration. Items slated for consideration include include devolution of powers among the tiers of government, fiscal federalism, state creation, the Nigerian Police, local government system, rotation of executive offices, residency and indigene provisions, immunity clause, recognition of the six geopolitical zones in the Constitution as well as Executive and Judicial reforms.

Tambuwal knocks Jonathan over budget

FG to commence action to repatriate Alamieyeseigha's loot from US, Page 6

Inter’l Digest

31-34 36







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Contd from Page 1 that the President’s refusal to constitute the Public Procurement Council as stipulated by the Constitution was at the head of the delay in contracts award, also expressed worry at the figures emanating from the Debt Management Office (DMO) about government’s domestic borrowings. “At a whopping 33.6 Billion US Dollars government appears to be monopolizing domestic borrowing to the unhealthy

exclusion of the private sector. This is certainly a matter of grave concern because global statistics on sustainable debt-GDP ratio percentages can not continue to be used as guide for an economy that is not keeping pace with global trends,” the Speaker said. He explained to the President that the decision of the House to jerk up the proposed oil benchmark from the $75 recommended by the executive to $80 was to reduce the budget deficit by at least 66 percent. The Speaker also pointed out

that the President in his Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) document presented to the House for consideration omitted revenues expected from gas and the actual amount expected as external borrowings. While expressing worry over consistent disregard for National Assembly resolutions by the executive as well as public comments coming from certain government functionaries, Tambuwal charged “There must be transparency, accountability and probity in the management

of our resources generally, given recent developments that indicate our exposure to unforeseen natural disasters. We certainly, for instance, cannot take the protection of our environment for granted. It remains for me to state once again that the pace of governance must take cognizance of the fact that the nation is grossly in arrears of its developmental potentials and expectations and accordingly a “business as usual” approach is totally unhelpful and unacceptable.”

Jonathan presents N4.92 tr budget for 2013 Contd from Page 1 a benchmark of $80 per barrel with a demand that the extra $5 be used to finance the deficit in the budget. President Jonathan, who was accompanied by members of his cabinet and leadership of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said the proposed $75 per barrel benchmark, which is $3 higher than the $72 used for the 2012 budget was “based on a wellestablished econometric methodology of estimating oil price moving averages.” Giving a breakdown of the revenue and expenditure assumptions, the President said the budget is based on projected federal share of N3.89 trillion of the estimated gross federally collectible oil and non-oil revenue of N10.84 trillion showing a deficit of N1.03 trillion. This however represents an increase of about 9 percent over the 2012 estimate. The President however did not indicate how the deficit would be financed though the Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala who briefed newsmen later said it would be financed through the usual sources, which includes proceeds from privatisation and

borrowings. On the expenditure profile, Jonathan announced further slashing of recurrent budget from 71 percent in 2012 to 68 percent in 2013 to make way for capital increase from 28.53 percent in 2012 to 31 percent in 2013. To this end, the President proposed that out of the N4.92 trillion, a total of N2.41 trillion should be devoted to recurrent expenditure while the sum of N1.54 trillion is for capital expenditure. He proposed N380.02 billion for Statutory Transfers and N591.76 billion for Debt Service. Jonathan announced that his administration has provided a sinking fund of N100 billion for the payment of government maturing debt obligations and to curb rising domestic debt profile while assuring that borrowing would be reduced from N744 billion for 2012 to N727 billion in 2013. To promote agriculture and industry, Jonathan announced the removal of duties for machinery and spare parts for local sugar manufacturing industries as well as 5-year tax holiday for “sugarcane to sugar” value chain investors. He also

reduced , import duty and levy on raw sugar to 10 percent and 50 percent respectively, while refined sugar will attract 20 percent duty and 60 percent levy respectively. On Rice, Jonathan announced 100 percent levy and 10 percent import duty on both brown and polished rice; To encourage air transport investment and in effect reduce airfares in the country, Jonathan announced the removal of import duties and Value Added Tax (VAT) for all commercial aircraft and aircraft spare parts imported for use in Nigeria. On solid minerals he also announced the removal of duties and VAT on machinery and equipment imported for use in the solid minerals sector. In the same vein, to encourage investment in the Public Mass Transit sector, the President announced the removal of duties on Completely Knocked Down components (CKD) for mass transit buses of at least 40-seater capacity. He said there are moves to open the way for investments for energy efficient vehicles from the 2014 fiscal year so as to support green growth in the sector.

He also announced incentives in gender and sports. To meet his administration’s goal on gender empowerment, Jonathan said the Ministry of Agriculture will work with the Ministry of Communication Technology to ensure that five million women farmers and agricultural entrepreneurs receive mobile phones to be able to access information on agro-inputs through an e-wallet scheme. He said the Ministry of Works will increase the number of women that are employed in public works programmes as contractors, workers and project evaluators. He said the ministry had already set the target of ensuring 35 percent for women in FERMA rehabilitation work. He said in every geopolitical zone, at least three roads leading to areas where women’s socio-economic activities are concentrated, will be prioritised and completed. Earlier at the opening of the sitting, Senate President David Mark, who harped on budget implementation, said the National Assembly will subject the budget through thorough scrutiny adding that the legislature should not be expected to rubber stamp the estimates presented by the executive.



Port Harcourt lynching: IGP vows to fish out killers From Matthew Aramude, Lagos


he Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, has vowed to fish out all those involved in the gruesome killing of four undergraduate students of the University of Port Harcourt. The IGP who was visibly disturbed by the killings, said he has been fully briefed about the incident and that the police have

…says over 4,000 Nigerians in Turkish jails recorded a major success in its investigation. Addressing media men on the Port Harcourt killings, the IGP assured Nigerians that the police will get to the root of the matter. “There is no doubt that the killing is barbaric, investigation is ongoing and we will fish out all those involved in the killing”, he said.

MD Abubakar who flew in from Turkey, revealed that he ordered for immediate investigations into the killing and that it is only investigation that could reveal what had happened. “I want to assure Nigerians that we are doing our best to fish out the culprits. We will not tolerate any barbaric act in any part of the

country”, he said. The IGP condemned the alleged involvement of a village head and members of vigilantes in the killing, saying that security groups and vigilantes are meant to work with the police and not expected to take laws into their hands. The IGP also revealed that the police was still investigating the

Mrs. Jonathan may return today

Kogi records 23 fresh births in flood victims’ camps

By Richard Ihediwa, with agency report



aring last minute changes, recuperating wife of the President, Mrs. Patience Jonathan is expected to be back in the country today. Reports from online portals monitored yesterday said plans were concluded last night to dispatch a presidential jet to Germany to fly her back to the country. The First Lady was flown out six weeks ago to Germany where she received treatment in a hospital for an undisclosed ailment; though there were series of media speculation on the actual ailment she suffered from following the failure of the presidency to come out clear on the matter. President Goodluck Jonathan last week, privately visited the First Lady as shown in a report relayed by the government owned Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) in which she was seen embracing her husband and sharing banters with presidential aides.

President Goodluck Jonathan laying the 2013 Budget proposal before the joint session of the National Assembly, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

Midnight explosions rock Jigawa as robbers target bank, police post From Ahmed Abubakar, Dutse


anic gripped residents of Gwaram local government area of Jigawa state when a suspected gang of armed robbers invaded the area detonating bombs at the divisional police office

and a branch of Unity Bank in the area. The gang reportedly attacked Unity Bank and the police division using explosives and A.K 47 rifles. The incident which occurred on late Tuesday night, was said to have been carried out by a 10 man

Zaria residents condemn forces that are meant to brutality by JTF security defend life and property would By Muhammad Nasir


esidents of Kwarbai community in Zaria, yesterday, condemned the insensitivity and acts of cruelty of the men of the Joint Task Force (JTF) on the people of the area. A report monitored by our reporter on the British Broadcasting Corporation (Hausa Service), noted that Zaria residents are unhappy over the unjust arrest of 21 persons by men of the JTF and inflicting injuries on them. A member of Network for Justice in Zaria, Malam Aminu Sule, said it is unfortunate that the

killing in Mubi, Adamawa state and that he will make public the outcome of the investigation when it is concluded. Abubakar said he was invited to Tukey by the Turkish Inspector General of Police. “Over 4000 Nigerians are serving various jail terms in Turkey for drug and human trafficking offences”, he disclosed. He explained that most drug traffickers from Nigeria use Turkey as their transit route.

inflict harm on citizens. Sule noted that 22 houses were destroyed by the JTF as a result of the bomb blast in a building in Kwarbai community, adding that those arrested by men of the JTF were on their way to the mosque. However, JTF public relations officer, Captain Ibrahim Abdullahi, denied the accusation, adding that the operation carried out by the JTF was between 1am to 2am”. Why would someone go to the mosque at the middle of the night, it was not even time for morning prayers? We do not use coercion on civilians during operations, but to protect life and properties of people”, Abdullahi noted.

squad of dare devil robbers, whom, despite the bombardments, could still not gain access to the bank safe. A witness in the area, Malam Isyaka Malam told our reporter that at about 9pm he heard a thunderous explosion which threatened to bring down his house and 10 minutes later another more deafening one was repeated. Malam Isyaka said the explosions triggered pandemonium as people scampered away in random directions. He said later they started hearing gunshots at the direction

of the police station and that forced all of the residents to stay indoors until the following morning when they learnt that the bank in the area had been broken into. The Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr. Kayode Theophilus, explained to the press at the explosion site that no single person was hurt from the operation. The police commissioner said in spite the fact that the assailants, whom he said are suspected armed robbers used all the force of the explosion to gain entry into the bank, they could not lay their hands on the safe in the bank.

o fewer than 23 fresh births have been recorded in some of the relief camps of flood victims in Kogi. The Commissioner for Information, Mr. Yabagi Bologi, who confirmed this in a statement issued in Lokoja yesterday, said the births were recorded in the past two weeks. Bologi said that 18 women gave birth in the displaced persons camp located in Idah, where over 26,000 displaced persons from Ibaji and Idah, were kept. He said five babies were delivered in camps located in Bassa local government, where 17, 500 victims, were temporarily being resettled. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalled that the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) had earlier confirmed the birth of three babies in camps located in Gadumo, Kabawa and Adankolo areas in Lokoja.

…as Jonathan begins tour of flood ravaged states today


resident Goodluck Jonathan will today begin the first-phase of an inspection tour of states affected by the floods. This was contained in a statement issued yesterday by Dr. Reuben Abati, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity. Abati said the president would visit flooded parts of Kogi, Anambra, Delta, Bayelsa and Rivers. He said before embarking on the tour, the president would inaugurate the National Committee on Flood Relief and Rehabilitation on Oct 11. (NAN)

Gunmen kill 2 FRSC personnel in Kano From Edwin Olofu, Kano Barely 24 hours after gunmen killed two policemen on polio immunisation exercise, two gunmen on motor bike attacked a Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) patrol vehicle, killing two officers and injuring one. The incident which happened around 1 pm yesterday along

Madobi Road, near Sani Abacha Youth Centre, has exacerbated panic in the city as militants step up their activities. The FRSC Sector Commander, Zaki Alkal,i who confirmed the incident, said his men were four in the vehicle when the terrorists opened fire on them. “Two officers died instantly, while one sustained bullet wounds,

but the fourth person survived the attack unhurt. It is a very sad incident”, he said. Police authorities also confirmed the incident saying a special squad has been deployed to comb the area in search of the assailants. The Commissioner of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris who spoke to our reporter on phone, also said his men are after the killers of the personnel.



or the residents of Abuja, especially those who witnessed the transformation of the Federal Capital Territory during the reign of the former minister of FCT, Mallam Nasiru el-Rufai, celebrating the ban placed on the operation of the commercial motorcycles, popularly called Okada, on October 1 st , 2006 may have, with the benefit of hindsight, been too soon. Although the action was then seen by some residents as bad, undemocratic and insensitive to the plight of the poor masses that used it as a source of livelihood, the FCT administration remained resolute and got rid of them from the city centre disregarding their perceived utilitarian necessity, which was engendered by the absence of an effective intra-city transportation system, coupled with poor condition of roads in the FCT at that time. However, their nuisance value far outweighs any perceived usefulness associated with the Okada. Among other things, Okada operators were accused of complicity in armed robberies, rape and sundry crimes, whose frequent occurrences in the FCT were making life difficult for law abiding residents. After the departure of Mallam Nasiru el-Rufai as the FCT Minister, the motorcyclists gradually started coming back into the city center confidently anticipating a relax attitude in the enforcement of the ban on their activities. And the gradual return of Okada to Asokoro, Garka 1 and Jabi, among other prohibited places within the city centre, supports the Okada operators’ presumption that the enforcement would be a bit relaxed, because during the administration of Mallam Nasiru el-Rufai, those places were considered as no-go areas for commercial motorcycles. At a recent meeting with directors and heads of departments, the FCT Minister, Senetor Bala Mohammed registered his displeasure over the gradual return of Okada to the city centre and other unwholesome activities despite the extant ban on their activities within the city center. He lamented that the bad side of his administration was always being reported in the media because of the weak attitude of those that are responsible for carrying out the job, noting that even refuse is not being collected as and when due. A statement signed by the minister’s Chief Press Secretary, Malam Muhammad Sule, said the ban was still in place and cautioned that anybody seen violating the law would be prosecuted. According to him, the measure had become necessary so as to ensure the security of lives and properties within the territory, given that as often as not, motorcyclists are always

The unwanted return of Okada in Abuja For a city designed in, for and with the 21 century and beyond in mind, Abuja, pre-Nasiru el-Rufa’i administration, was anything but the modern capital and pride of the Federal Republic of Nigeria it is supposed to be. One of the features that turned Abuja into an eye sore, and its streets very hazardous for users, was the ubiquitous commercial motor cycle, better known as Okada other parts of the country. For most, if not all of the Okada drivers, getting to the destination as fast as possible was more important than arriving as safe as possible. The arrival of Malam Nasir el-Rufai as FCT Minister however, consigned Okada to the dustbin of Abuja history with a decisive ban on their activities within the city center on October 1st, 2006. With the departure of the erstwhile diminutive FCT minister, Okada, along with other outlawed activities, is making a gradual return to Abuja city center with vengeance, writes Etuka Sunday.

FCT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed

Former FCT Minister, Malam Nasir el-Rufai

fingered in crimes like robbery, rape and traffic violation. He however noted that commercial motorcycles were only permitted in the satellite towns, while tricycles (Keke Napep) were restricted to areas such as Gwarinpa estate, Life Camp, Karmo, Kuchi in Jabi and Kado estate. Other areas are Gishiri, Wuye Junction, Garki, Kabusa and environs, Durumi, New Garki settlement and the area councils. On July 29 th, 2012, the Director, FCT Directorate of Road Traffic Services, Col. Wilson Alade (rtd) disclosed that the directorate had impounded over 1,600 motorcycles from different locations between January and July this year as a show of its zero tolerance to the use of motorbike as a commercial means of transportation in FCT.

arrest, promising that such attacks would not deter them from delivering on their pledge. Alade said that the law put in place banning Okada from operating at the city centre was still in force, assuring that the directorate will continue

He added that the directorate was determined to enforce the ban until the last cyclist adhered to the rule. But he was however disappointed over the use of dangerous weapons by cyclists as defense instruments to attack the officers by way of resisting

The gradual return of Okada to Asokoro, Garka 1 and Jabi, among other prohibited places within the city centre, supports the Okada operators’ presumption that the enforcement would be a bit relaxed

to enforce it without listening to some of the reasons being advanced by the cyclists. ”Usually, when we arrest them, they tell us that it’s their only means of livelihood, but for them to operate in FCT where they are banned means that they want to intentionally violate the law and we will not spare them. The only reason we will listen to is for them to comply with the directive,” Alade cautioned. Regrettably, Nigerian leaders are all too often better at talking than acting (talking more and doing less). They are known for good policy formulations without implementation. They are known for making laws without enforcement. It is for this reason that the ban on motorcycles in FCT is now taken with levity and the celebration over the ban a bit too soon.



Floods: NMA warns over possible epidemic

IRS denies report of aircraft accident in Lagos

From Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin


By Ibrahim Kabiru Sule


he management of IRS airlines has debunked online media reports of an accident involving one of its aircrafts, with 91 passengers onboard while taking off in Lagos, yesterday. In a press release signed by the company's Managing Director, Yemi Dada, the company had confirmed that its flight number LVB 3306, enroute Lagos-Kano, with a transit in Abuja had a protrusion by one of the wings with a parked truck in a ditch. The statement further noted that "the Captain observed a FAAN truck in a ditch. There were no marshals around it neither was there any marking to indicate that it encroached into the taxi way. There was no NOTAM issued to that effect as well‌" All the 91 passengers on board the aircraft were safely disembarked and transferred to another aircraft and departed Lagos. The incident was reported to NCAA to effect repairs and awaits clearance for the aircraft to return to service.

Again, NEMA harps on imperative of early disaster management From Mohammed Adamu, Kaduna he National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), has warned that unless disaster management and risk reduction are effectively driven at all levels, the impact of disasters will be extremely difficult and costly to address. The zonal coordinator, Northwest office of NEMA, Alhaji Musa Ilellah who made the statement during a flag-off of the 2012 sensitisation workshop for district heads, teachers and health workers in Kaduna, pointed out that high rate of infection and fatalities from cerebro spinal meningitis, measles, cholera and other epidemics is largely as a result of ignorance, and poor state of personal and environmental hygiene. Ilellah said: ''therefore the need for timely collaboration, planning , and commitment to deal with disaster issues by all the tiers of government particularly the local governments, cannot be over emphasised''. According to him the international emergency data base, EM-DAT has shown that more loss of lives were exclusively caused by epidemics and in Nigeria, epidemics rank third after droughts and floods. He urged stakeholders to imbibe the culture of disaster risk reduction.


L-R: Director Immunization and Diseases Control, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Emmanuel Abanida, Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer of NPHCDA, Dr. Ado Muhammad, and former Executive Director of the Agency, Dr. Shehu Mahdi, during the inauguration of PHC Expert Group Committee, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

5 die in a Taraba auto crash From Yusha'u Alhassan, Jalingo


ive persons died yesterday in a fatal motor accident along the Hammanruwa Way, Jalingo, the Taraba state capital. An eyewitness, Hassan Gagare, told our reporter that the driver of the taxi was on

top speed and had a burst tyre, lost control and swerved to the other side of the road where he ran into an oncoming truck. He said the impact of the accident was so severe that it took sympathizers much time to use sharp objects to cut the squeezed taxi before evacuating

the dead bodies. The five corpses were taken to the Federal Medical Centre by the men of the Federal Road Safety Corps. A source closed to the FMC says the dead bodies have been identified by their relations and that among them in a student of the Taraba State University.

FG to commence action to repatriate Alamieyeseigha's loot from US By Sunday Ejike Benjamin


ollowing requests from the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), the Federal Government has agreed to seek from the US government the repatriation of forfeiture order on USD 401,931 in assets belonging to the former governor of Bayelsa state, Diepreye Solomon Peter Alamieyeseigha. The former governor had been convicted in Nigeria for money laundering and unjust enrichment while he held sway as

governor of Bayelsa state. A letter with reference number SGF/PS/PCG/200/T, dated September 25, 2012, and signed by MS Hassan, Head, Central Authority Unit, on behalf of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Adoke, said urgent action is being taken to repatriate Alamieyeseigha's loot. In response, SERAP through its executive director, Adetokunbo Mumuni, stated:"We welcome the expressed commitment by the government to seek from the US

repatriation of the loot by Mr. Alamieyeseigha. We hope that this process will promptly take place as promised by the government." "But we also urge the government to adopt a holistic and comprehensive approach to the recovery of stolen assets so that all other stolen assets by all corrupt public officials are promptly and fully recovered and used to improve the country's infrastructure and provide the basic necessities of life to millions of Nigerians living in poverty and misery.

Niger governor assures Minna residents of security From Iliya Garba, Minna


overnor Muazu Babangida Aliyu of Niger state, has assured residents in the state of the safety of their lives and property and advised them to go about their lawful businesses. Commenting against the backdrop of the recent attacks on security men in the by gunmen in Minna yesterday, he said

government has put all the necessary machinery in motion to ensure the incidents do not escalate. Welcoming, the Country Director of the International Republican Institute of the United States of America, Mr. Robinna Namasisi, Governor Aliyu said it was necessary that members of the public should cooperate with all security agencies by offering them vital information that will lead to the tracking down of

criminals in the society. He however said security of lives and property is fundamental to any type of development and should therefore not be left in the hands of government and security agents alone. Earlier, Mr. Robinna Namsisi disclosed that the organisation is working with politicians and political parties to further entrench democracy adding that it is also training youths and the physically challenged on how they will participate in party politics.

he Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) has expressed fear over possible epidemic outbreak of epidemics in flood-ravaged states in some parts of the country. This is sequel to preliminary findings from NMA's assessment tour of the affected communities where the body discovered poor waste disposal and inadequate toilet facilities. A statement endorsed by the president of the association, Dr. Osahon Enabule, noted that "underground wells, boreholes and surface water which are the sources of water in the flood ravaged communities have been polluted". It identified inadequate supply of potable water, food supply, overcrowding as major challenges concerned authorities should tackle vigorously; just as its recommended safety measures to limit the spread of already existing diseases amongst the displaced persons through quick intervention such as health education particularly on water purification. The statement adds that adequate sanitary toilets/waste disposal facilities, establishment of immunisation posts in the camp clinics for routine immunisation where flood victims would be vaccinated against cerebrospinal meningitis and poliomyelitis in the affected communities, should be considered.

PAC faults award of honorary doctorate degrees to politicians


he National Chairman of the Progressive Action Congress (PAC), Chief Charles Nwodo, says the award of honorary doctorate degrees to politicians is not in the best interest of the nation's education system. Nwodo made the observation in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) yesterday in Abuja. According to him, university should serve as the reserve of decency and decorum. He regretted that many universities embarked on award of honorary degrees, especially to those who had not contributed anything meaningful to the educational development of the nation. Nwodo said such class of degree should have been awarded to models and individuals who contributed immensely to the growth and development of the country, in their various endeavours. "It should not be seen as a showbiz for mediocre and corrupt politicians desperately searching for image laundering to cover their failures", he said. NAN recalls that a new policy, drafted by the Association of ViceChancellors of Nigerian Universities has recommended banning the nation's tertiary institutions from awarding honorary doctorate degrees to political office holders or appointees. (NAN)


N47.1 bn theft: Court throws out Akingbola's application, to recall witness From Francis Iwuchukwu, Lagos


Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja, presided over by Justice Habeeb Abiru, yesterday, dismissed the application filed by sacked Managing Director of Intercontinental Bank Plc (Now Access Bank), Erastus Akingbola, seeking the court's permission to recall a defence witness, Mrs Ayoola Ayinde. The application was dated October 9, 2012. Akingbola was charged to court alongside an associate, Bayo Dada, for allegedly stealing N47.1 billion belonging to Intercontinental Bank by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). The application sought to recall Ayinde, a former head of Foreign Operations of Intercontinental Bank to tender 75 documents as exhibits. The documents were to be tendered by the witness to explain the 8.5 million and 1.3 million pounds transactions she carried out on Akingbola's instructions. Ayinde had on June 21 testified that Akingbola had instructed her to transfer the monies to Fulgher Solicitors, a United Kingdom-based law firm and that it was a regular transaction. Akingbola's lawyer, Felix Fagbohungbe, explained that the purpose of tendering the documents was to show that the money transferred to Fulgher was owned by Rockson Engineering Ltd, which contradicted the charge before the court. He said:" In the charge, the first defendant (Akingbola) is alleged to have stolen the bank's money. "We are now saying through these documents that the money belonged to Rockson and that the total amount on Rockson's account was paid out based on the 75 instructions including that of the first defendant". However, counsel to the EFCC, Godwin Obla, opposed Ayinde's recall, arguing that it was a ploy by Akingbola's counsel to delay the trial. In his ruling, the judge held that recalling Ayinde was unnecessary because she had already tendered all the relevant documents she had in her possession as exhibits.


Fresh violence as gunmen kill 14 in Riyom From Nankpah Bwakan, Jos


os, the Plateau State capital, was again thrown into mourning following the report of a resumed attack by suspected Fulani herdsmen on Riyom local government area of the state leading to the death of at least 14 persons. Unknown gunmen had on

Tuesday night, invaded the residence of one Mr. Pam Batok at Ta-Hoss village of Riyom, killing him and his wife and three of his children. Our reporter also gathered that the attackers killed another family of eight at Danchol settlement in the same area. When contacted, the Plateau state Police Public Relations

Officer, DSP Emmanuel Abu, said at about 7:00 pm, two residents identified as Dalop and Gyang Mwansho who were on their way from T-shek to Jon, were ambushed by unknown gunmen and shot dead. He said the gunmen in a similar way invaded a residence and killed one Mrs. Cheung Manpat and her three children.

Abu said no arrest has been made so far and appealed to citizens to be security conscious and report any suspicious movement to security agencies. He disclosed that the Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr. Emmanuel Ayeni, has deployed armed policemen to the affected areas to prevent further attacks and reprisals.

2013 Budget: OkonjoIweala defends $75 oil benchmark By Abdulwahahab Isa


L-R: Director General, National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Engineer Yomi Bolarinwa, Director General, Ondo State Radiovision Corporation, Mr. Ladi Akeredolu-Ale, and Director, Radio Services, Continental Broadcasting Service, Mr. Richmond Dayo Johnson, during NBC's meeting with directors general of radio corporations from Ondo state, yesterday in Abuja. PHOTO: JUSTIN IMO-OWO

Kwara to sell N800m houses to 129 workers From Olanrewaju Lawal, Ilorin


he Kwara state government has disclosed that 129 civil servants in the state will have the opportunity to buy government houses occupied by them. The state is expected to reap N800 million from the sale. The Head of Service, Alhaji Muhammed Dabarako who

disclosed this at the post executive council press briefing yesterday, said that the government would exclude buildings in state government hospitals and schools. Dabarako who denied the insinuation that the state was selling the affected building because it was not financially buoyant, said it was guided by the Federal Government policy of selling government structures to

civil servants. The HOS insisted that the proceeds from the sales would be used to build offices for civil servants in the state. Stating other conditions, Dabarako said any worker who did want to participate, has three months to refuse the offer stressing that the programme would be extended to outsiders on different prices.

he Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has said the adoption of $75 per barrel oil benchmark for the 2013 budget falls within the standard of econometric modules used by oil dependent nations in preparing their budgets. She also clarified that raising oil benchmark to $80 a barrel as canvassed by members of the House of Representatives could spur liquidity problem which will in turn trigger inflation. She made these observations yesterday at an intercreative session with finance correspondents shortly after President Goodluck Jonathan presented 2013 budget to the joint session of the National Assembly. She said that the $75 oil benchmark adopted was carefully studied and arrived at based on likelihood of volatility that could characterise the oil market. The 2013 N4.92 trillion represents an increase of about 5% over the N4.7 trillion appropriated for 2012.

Borno killings: Shettima, JTF to hold emergency meeting From Mustapha Isah Kwaru, Maiduguri


overnor Kashim Shettima of Borno state, said yesterday that he will summon top ranking officers of the Joint Military Task Force, (JTF) for an emergency meeting over the recent alleged killings and burning of houses by some soldiers. Governor Shettima stated this while addressing some members of the State Executive Council, at the Government House in Maiduguri, shortly after returning from a foreign trip to woo investors.

"As the Chief security Officer of the state, I will summon all service chiefs in order to give them necessary advice on how to caution some of their officers and men in their noble task of restoring law and order". Shettima stated. The governor also vowed to unveil effective measures to stem recurrence of the incident, saying “all hands will put on deck to ensure that our people did not experience such horrible act. “Residents should exercise patience over the unfortunate incident, we are making extensive consultations with high ranking

operatives of the task force to ensure that their operations did not hurt innocent citizens�, he said. He implored the people to remain clam and continue their normal activities as government is poised to ensure their safety. Shettima said, the incident was unfortunate as it came when government was leaving nothing in order to provide dividends of democracy cutting across healthcare delivery, education, agriculture and infrastructural development. While commending the effort of the JTF in tackling the Boko

Haram insurgency that want to hold the state government to ransom, Shettima stressed that, after the meeting with the security chiefs and other stakeholders, he hoped that JTF would perform their professional duties according to the "Rules of Engagement". Reiterating government appeal to the Islamic sect to lay down arms and dialogue with government whose door remained open for peace to be restored in the troubled state and the country in general, he also condemned those calling on the federal government

to withdraw JTF troops from the state, whom he described as political enemies of his present administration. "Believe you me, if federal government withdrew JTF from Borno, all of us including the present government will be chased out of the state by the Boko Haram sect", he said. On those whose houses and shops were burnt down during the incident, he said government would compensate them. He also commiserated with the families of those who lost their beloved ones.



Nigeria should re-elect leaders based on contribution to PHC By A’isha Biola Raji


n order to restore the primary health care (PHC) system in Nigeria to its past glory, citizens have been urged to only re-elect leaders who have shown commitment to health care delivery at all levels of government. The executive director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Ado Muhammad, made this comment yesterday in Abuja at the official inauguration of the Primary Health Care Expert Group (PHCEG). Dr. Muhammad said the objective of making PHC the focal point of the national health system was to make health care generally accessible and community-driven. He said the achievement of this goal has however remained a challenge hence the need for

individuals to become fully involved. “PHC should be the patriarch of political agenda at all levels”, he added. According to him, the resolve to bringing primary health care back to its position as model to other countries in the world, has called for the inauguration of the committee of experts who are expected to work within two weeks. The committee will among other duties, review the literature and available data on PHC, make recommendations based on analysis, and examine critical issues and develop a national strategic plan for the transformation of PHC in Nigeria. In his acceptance speech, the chairman of the committee, Dr. Shehu Mahadi, former executive director, NPHCDA said he hopes the outcome of the committee report will be fully implemented.

Taraba NIPOST to install ICT facilities to boost services From Yusha’u Alhassan, Jalingo


he Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST), is installing Information and Communication Technology (ICT) facilities to upgrade its services in Taraba state. The Area Postal Manager of Taraba state territory, Babatunde Ajayi, stated this in an address to mark this year’s World Post Day and Customer’s Forum in Jalingo. He said if completed, it would make the post office an ICT

friendly for the enhancement of its services to customers. The manager said NIPOST has so far commenced automation of its counters in major post offices nationwide in collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria and other stakeholders in the industry for the actualisation of the current economic policy. He said NIPOST in Taraba state had two district offices, six departmental offices, 14 post offices and over 50 post shops in the 16 local government areas of the state.

Pastors re-arraigned for certificate forgery From Inumidun Ojelade, Ibadan


Federal High Court sitting in Ibadan on Tuesday re-arraigned three pastors of the Christ Apostolic Church (CAC) on five-count charges of forgery. The development followed the transfer of the trial judge, Justice Jonathan Shakharo from Ibadan Federal High Court division. The immediate past President of the Church, Pastor Elijah Olusheye along with Pastors Johnson Olabisi and Gideon Okegwemeh, as well as a member of staff of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), Mr. Abdul-Hakeem Mohammed , were rearraigned before the new trial judge, Justice Agnes ObasekiAdejumo, for the charges. They all pleaded “not guilty” to the charges of deceiving the government with forged documents to obtain a new certificate of registration for the church. The judge informed the two parties that hearing the case de novo became imperative since

the former judge could not transfer the case with him to his new court of assignment. She then upheld the bail earlier granted the accused persons and adjourned next hearing to November 12 and 18. It will be recalled that Justice Shakharo, had granted them bail to the sum of N100,000 each with one surety each in the like sum. The five-count charge against them include alleged forgery of documents in 1991 and in 1995 to fraudulently obtain another certificate of registration of the church having fallen apart with others the previous year. The documents were alleged to have been used to deceive the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) into issuing a new certificate on the strength of affidavits and other documents under the pretence that the original certificate could not be retrieved from the Court of Appeal whereas the original certificate was in the custody of the then General Secretary, Pastor N. E. Udofia.

Traditional ruler of Ogbema II, Abua/Odual local government area, Chief Ipeghan Edum (left), speaking to newsmen on effect of floods on his community, yesterday in Rivers state. Photo: NAN

Anxiety as Taraba communities await Lake Nyos flood waters From Yusha’u Alhassan, Jalingo


ommunities in AkwentoBoko, Abong and Gwanda wards in Kurmi local government area of Taraba state are now living in perpetual fear following reports that the likely over flooding of Lake Nyos in the Republic of Cameroon will affect them badly. Investigation by our correspondent shows that the communities have abandoned their activities for fear of the pending flood. Apart from flooding, is also the fear of the potential of the lake to emit lethal gas, which could spread radioactive chemicals capable of causing death to both humans and

animals across the Mambilla Plateau and environs. Some of the people in the areas have started contacting their relations in other parts of the state for possible relocation to avert becoming victims of the impending disaster. At Abong on of the communities under threat, the people have started opening up roads to the mountain tops for relocation to save lives before the disaster occurs. At Gwanda, some people have stated evacuating their properties to Baissa the administrative headquarters of the local government to guard against being taken unawares. The people in the listed have also appealed to the government

to address their plight. They observed that if nothing was done immediately the people may end up becoming refuges. Reacting to the issue in an interview, Kurmi council chairman, Douglas Charles Hosea, said his council has released N100, 000 to assist the people construct roads to the mountains for immediate relocation for the safety of their lives and property. Meanwhile, some prominent sons and daughters of the area resident in Jalingo have appealed to the federal and state ministries of Environment and Water Resources to work towards a common stand on the issue to ensure the protection of lives and property.

Flood: Over 2000 houses submerged in Asaba


ver 2000 houses have been submerged in Asaba, the Delta state capital following the spate of flooding ravaging riverins areas across the country. Briefing the press on the flood, the deputy governor of the state, Prof. Amos Utuama, noted that the flood has wreaked havoc in 11 local government areas of the state while over 2000 houses have been submerged in Asaba alone. He added that the River Niger has over flown its bank with between 10 and 20 kilometres into the hinterland, adding that the water level keeps rising, a situation which, he said, has given rise to the number of displaced persons that are spread in about 16 camps across the state. Prof Utuama, who is the Chairman of Delta State InterMinisterial and Agencies Committee for Flood Displaced Persons, remarked that the committee had opened camps in all the affected communities in order to accommodate the rising

number of displaced persons. He expressed the wish that the flood would recede soon to avert further disaster. He attributed the severity of the Delta flooding as compared to other states to the fact that the state is at the mouth of the Atlantic Ocean and all the water from Rivers Benue and Niger would flow to Delta enroute the Atlantic Ocean. In a related development, the state government has commended the Nigerian Army and the Navy for the support they have rendered to the victims of the flood disaster that has ravaged the state in the past few weeks. Deputy governor, Prof. Amos Utuama gave the commendation in Asaba while addressing senior government officials and political appointees on the flood matters. The deputy governor revealed at the occasion that the 4 Brigade Nigerian Army made a donation of 100 bags of rice to the victims of the flood while the

Gov. Emmanuel Uduaghan NNS Delta of the Nigerian Navy had been involved in the evacuation of victims of the flood while also providing security along the coastal line to guard against the activities of criminals who may want to cash in on the situation to loot or dispossess people of their belongings.



Most retired officers not living well – GOC From Muhammad Adamu, Kaduna


he General Officer Commanding 1 Division of the Nigeria Army, Kaduna, Major General Garba Wahab has lamented that a greater number of officers who have left service are not in the best condition attributing the challenges to wrong investment or vulnerability to fraudsters. The GOC stated this at the inauguration of the entrepreneurship and management training for 30 senior military officers from the Nigerian Army on Tuesday at the Division headquarters in Kaduna.

The GOC who was represented by the Commander, 51 Signal Battalion, Colonel Dayo Olukoju said it was in recognition of this, that the training package was organized and done in collaboration with experts to provide the officers with both the knowledge and guidance toward a productive post service life. He stressed that the knowledge gained from the exercise was meant to assist officers in overcoming retirement anxieties linked to inadequate funds, managing their mental health, challenge of managing a new and low social status and other challenges of sudden retirement.

Meanwhile, the Commandant of the Nigerian Armed Forces Resettlement Centre (NASFRC), Air vice Marshal Clement Aroriod represented by the Director of Training, Brigadier General Ahmed Muhammed stated that the pre-retirement training was to provide retiring personnel with skills and trade that would empower them to set up their businesses and enjoy productive life in retirement. The commandant, urged the senior military officers to avail themselves the opportunity provided through the training that would avail them with the framework for

analysis and decision making in achieving their retirement goals. The Country Director of ENF, Mrs. Onari Duke however said the officers are to be equipped with

entrepreneurial skills and competencies, as well as behavioral and psychological training that would hinge on emotional intelligence.

Kwara govt lauds Jonathan over N300m grant to flood victims From Olanrewaju Lawal, Ilorin


wara State governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, has commended President Goodluck Jonathan for the quick response to the plight of victims of flooding which ravaged some parts of the country, including Kwara State. Governor Ahmed in a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Alhaji Abdulwahab Oba, said FG’s N300million palliative to victims of flood in Edu and Patigi Local Government Areas of the State where over 70 villages were affected and 16 villages submerged, was timely. Governor Ahmed, according

to the statement, also commended the federal government for directing the technical committee to continue action on the flood issue and for setting up a high-powered National Committee on Flood Relief and Rehabilitation to raise funds for the mitigation of pains associated with flooding. While assuring the federal government of optimum usage of the fund, Governor Ahmed said “we have constituted a committee to critically access the affected areas in order to justify the motive behind the release of the fund”. He therefore urged all the benefiting states to reciprocate the support by ensuring that the fund gets to the victims.

NIPOST honours customers From Mustapha Isah Kwaru, Maiduguri he Maiduguri office of the Nigerian Postal Service ( N I P O S T ) o n Tuesday honoured some of its customers with assorted gifts as part of the celebration for this year’s World Post Day in Maiduguri. NIPOST Area Manager Mr. Alex Bature said, at the event, that the customers were recognised for their continual patronage of the organisation. “We are recognising them because of their continual


President of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor (left), briefing journalists on the Federal Government delegation to Jerusalem after its inauguration, yesterday at the State House, in Abuja. With him is Secretary, Christian Pilgrims' welfare Board, Mr John Kennedy Okpara (right). Photo: Joe Oroye.

Plateau teachers’ strike enters 7th month …As pupils move to JSS1 without exams


upils in public schools in Plateau state are still idling away at home as the strike embarked upon by teachers in the state enters its seventh month. A correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) who visited some of the schools, reports that the gates of many of the schools were locked and that only securitymen were seen around the vicinities of the schools. A security man in one of the schools in Hwolshe, near the Plateau State Polytechnic, Jos, said that reptiles and lizards have become common sights in the school compound. Some parents, who spoke in Jos on Wednesday, expressed disgust that the strike has persisted for so long. Mrs. Hanatu Joseph expressed regrets that the children have continued to suffer the consequences of “some ego trip” between the government and teachers,

calling for a truce as soon as possible. “The situation is dangerous and the future of our children is bleak,’’ she lamented Another parent, Ajim Peters, said he had lost patience with the system and had enrolled his child into a private school. Speaking on the strike, the Chairman, Plateau State Chapter of the Parent Teachers’ Association, Mr. Sylvester Yakubu, said that parents would soon take to the streets to force government to take steps to end the strike. Yakubu, who rejected the decision of automatic admission of the primary six pupils without an entrance examination into JSS1, pointed out that the future of the children was “on the brink of collapse”. “How can such person perform effectively if placed in JSS 1?’’ he asked. The Plateau State

Commissioner for Education, Mr. Nanle Dashen, said that primary six pupils were already being admitted into JSS1. Dashen explained that with the current nine year basic education system, primary six pupils did not need to write common entrance examination before they could be admitted into JSS 1. He added that the transition from primary six to JSS1 was automatic as it was a continuation of the 9-year basic education system being handled by the Universal Basic Education Board. The commissioner, however, expressed optimism that the issues would be resolved soon. However, Mr. Gunshin Yarlings, Chairman, Plateau State Chapter of the Nigeria Union of Teachers, vowed that primary school pupils would remain at home until teachers’ grievances were addressed. (NAN)

patronage in spite of the current security challenges in the state,’’ Bature said. Those that received gifts at the event included the Borno State Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs which emerged the best customer in Private Mail Bag and the National Orientation Agency (NOA) which won the best award in EMS Speed Post. Others were NAMU Model Nursery and Primary School, the Ramat Polytechnic who emerged joint winners of the best customer in stamp duty among others.

Wogu rates labour ministry’s budget performance high By Muhammad Nasir


he Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chief Emeka Wogu, has rated his ministry’s budget performance at 95% with the release of total appropriation, while affirming the commitment of the Federal Government to implement the 2012 appropriation as passed by the National Assembly. The Minister stated this Tuesday in his office when he received the House Committee on Labour Employment and Productivity led by its Chairman, Hon. Essien Ekpenyong Ayi on oversight visit. “The percentage performance for the Ministry, Departments and Parastatals of the Ministry of Labour and Productivity as at today with respect to funds already accessed is 95.8%, and the executive is as desirous as the National Assembly to

implement the 2012 budget to the fullest” He affirmed. The Minister urged the National Assembly to continue to support the Transformation Agenda of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, adding that the committee should visit the projects of the Ministry. Earlier in his remarks, the House Committee Chairman, Hon. Ayi stated that the leadership of the House of Representatives has directed all committee to embark on oversight visit to MDAs under their jurisdiction, to ascertain the level of 2012 budget performance. He commended the Ministry and its parastatals for judicious utilization of funds released to them, saying that the Ministry’s budget performance based on the release made so far has been excellent.



CAN boss in sex scandal From Lawal Sa’idu Funtua, Katsina


he Chairman of Christian Association, (CAN) Dutsinma local government chapter in Katsina State, Mr. Christopher Okwudili and two others were arraigned before chief magistrate court 1 in Katsina over alleged nudity, trespass and intimidation. The prosecuting police officer,

Inspector, Babangida Shehu told the court the two others were Charity Mathew and Ubuku Okadigbo. The prosecutor similarly told the court that the clergy and his girl friend Charity were found naked in Ubuku's residence allegedly making love without his consent. He added when the clergyman and his hearthrob were lost in their love escapades, the owner of the house, Mr. Ubuku burst in and

used a still camera to capture them naked on his bed. According to him, when Ubuku came in, he quickly picked the Reverend Pastor’s shirt. But in a dramatic twist,the pastor reported to the police in Dutsin-ma that the duo connived to intimidate him and seized his shirt containing N150,000. Inspector Shehu noted that the offence committed by okwudili was contrary to section 342 of penal

code law while the offences committed by Charity and Ubuku were contrary to sections 97, 397, 264 and 287. The prosecutor stated that investigation has been completed on the matter and asked for date for the commencement of hearing. However, the presiding magistrate, Kabir Shu'aibu granted the three accused bail while setting aside October 22, 2012 for the commencement of hearing.

Don charges NASS on state police From Inumidun Ojelade, Ibadan


ead of Department of Political Science, University of Ibadan, Professor Osisioma Nwolise Tuesday charged the National Assembly to amend the relevant sections of the 1999 Federal Constitution to provide for the establishment and operation of State Police “for states that are ripe for it.” He also said that the State police should be operated by the executive, under the control of a State Police Service Commission and the State House of Assembly. Prof. Nwolise said this at the Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research (NISER), Ibadan while delivering a lecture in the NISER research seminar series entitled “The State Police Discourse in Nigeria – A Citizen’s Perspective”. Nwolise said: Those opposing State Police on the ground that Nigeria is not yet ripe for it, despite the fact that Nigeria had regional and Native Administration Police 52 years ago and the fact that Nigeria is a Federation, do not want this country to grow, and do not wish this country well. Nigeria cannot be a toddler forever.” Prof. Nwolise then suggested First degree as the level of educational qualification for entry into the police just as he charged the National Assembly and the Nigerian Bar Association to transform the Nigeria Police Force into a true agent of the law. He urged the Federal Government to create at least two million jobs annually for the next five years for the “ angry, hungry and idle youths that have been programmed by state neglect to become threats to the security of Nigeria and Nigerians”.

L-R: Minister of State for FCT, Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide, and President, Federation of Muslim Women Association of Nigeria (FOMWAN), Hajiya Raliat Akinbobola, during a visit by the association to the minister, on Tuesday in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

NITDA to assist youths for ‘YES’ initiatives By Chris Alu


ational Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) said it is ready to assist youths for the first phase of its ICT Youth Empowerment Scheme (YES), a sensitization and innovation training programme for unemployed Nigerian Youths.

Director General of the Agency, Professor Cleopas Angaye who stated this to newsmen in Abuja Tuesday, said the programme is part of Federal Government’s transformation agenda. Angaye stated that the core goal of the initiative was to help participants develop ICT capital and entrepreneurial skills and to

deliver hand-on training on web design, management and hosting. He explained that NITDA also hopes to equip best participating youths during the training with start-up tools and equipment for self enhancement. Under the first phase, 100 youths are expected to be trained, each in Abuja and Lagos state beginning from October 22 to 26.

FG doles out N12bn to fed polytechnics From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi


he Federal government has approved over N12 billion for the supply of equipment and rehabilitation of laboratories in 51 federal and state polytechnics across the country. The executive secretary, National Board for Technical Education (NTBE), Masa'ud Kazaure who made the disclosure on Monday at the 10th National Conference of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, (ASUP), in Bauchi said that the challenges facing developing nations could be surmounted if only science and technology was given top priority. He said the federal government would revive research activities for national development and address problems associated with sustainable environment. Represented by a staff of the Board, Alhaji Lawal Hafis, the Executive Secretary lamented the situation whereby lecturers are comfortable only with basic research to meet the criterion for promotion and to broaden the frontiers of knowledge . According to him, “what the nation requires most at this stage of development is applied research that will address the myriads of Nigeria’s developmental challenges”. Kazaure said that other measures taken by the board and the federal government to address obstacles to viable research include the establishment of NBTE centre of excellence, review of the normative instrument of accreditation, review of the Scheme of Federal polytechnics and tertiary institutions, extension of 65 years retirement age for polytechnic lectures and organizations of human capacity development programmes for technical and vocational education training institutions.

Pay your debt, Kwara postal manager tell customers From Olanrewaju Lawal, Ilorin


he Area Postal Manager, Kwara State Territory, Mr. Lawrence Tunwase has appealed to customers of the agency in the state to settle their debt to ensure effective service delivery. Tunwase who made the appeal in llorin during the 2012 World

Post Day noted that without their cooperation, it would be difficult for them to receive better service from the agency. The Postal Manger who declined to reveal the amount owed by the customers said the Nigeria Postal Service (NIPOST) has introduced some measures aimed at securing mails up to the

point of delivery. “I am using this opportunity to appeal to some of our customers who are yet to pay for their boxes and P.M.B to do so within a week. Fulfil your own part to enable us serve you better”. The Postal Manager who disclosed that the annual celebration was organise under the

auspices of Universal Postal Union(UPU) said the Service would hold essay competition for secondary schools in the world entitled “ water is precious” and would close by December 31,2012 stressing that Principals and teachers of the schools should encourage their students to participate in the competition.

PRONACO to help Bakassi, Ogoni, others, carpets FG From Ayodele Samuel, Lagos


chieftain of Pro-National Conference Organization (PRONACO), has assured the people of Bakassi and others that the Pan Nigerian people’s platform has already commenced local and foreign consultations on how best to help them achieve political autonomy and selfdetermination within their territories Reacting to the position of the

Federal Government not to seek judicial review of the ICJ ruling on Bakassi which ceded Bakassi to Cameroun, Olawale Okunniyi, PRONACO Spokesperson said on Tuesday in Lagos that the Federal Government betrayed the trust and confidence of the Bakassi people by such undemocratic decision inspite of the preference of the Bakassi people to remain in Nigeria Okunniyi, an expert on constitutionalism and nationality questions said the central and

decisive issue in such international dispute is the resolve and interest of the Bakassi people, which is currently being ignored by the Nigerian government and its advisers PRONACO however accused the Nigerian government of timidity and conspiracy against the people of Bakassi imbued by ignorance of the rights of indigenous peoples in international politics, which they averred is backed by the United Nations

Charter on self determination and political autonomy . “The FG erred in stating there is no new fact to enable an appeal for judicial review of the ICJ ruling on Bakassi inspite of the international rights of the Bakassi people and the current demonstration of their interest and desire to remain in Nigeria instead of Cameroon. Is that not a sufficient emergent development to warrant a judicial review if the FG is indeed educated about the rights

of indigenous people like Bakassi as enshrined in United Nations law, which is binding on both Nigeria and Cameroon?”, he asked. The renowned political scientist however charged various nationality and indigenous groups in Nigeria, including the Ogoni, MASSOB, Bakassi, Oodua Republic Front among others to remain resilient as PRONACO is now fully set to help them achieve their self determination through the United Nations.



10 fresh ideas to win over unsupportive family as a young entrepreneur


ometimes, an entrepreneur comes from family with paycheck and regular monthly income. This family will think that entrepreneurship is too risky and insecure. If you face the situation, here are several fresh ideas to get your family enthusiasm on your entrepreneurship. Plan explanation: Family is maybe concern on your welfare. You need to explain your plans in detail so they understand what you are going to do. This is essential for a start. Research show: You must have done a research. Show your research and the result to your family and let them know how things like this work and end. Examples: You can throw several successful examples. To be

10 promising businesses you start from your smartphone (1)


any people are out of job right now, and they need good job to make a living. Meanwhile, there is short list for vacancy as well. If you are in such situation, you will be able to find many interesting jobs from your smartphone. In fact, those alternatives are very competitive. 1. Service operator; personal one People will be able to ask so many questions. They may want advice on recipe, auction, psychic, or sport betting. You only need to make research first. 2. Tech service and support If you have certain skills and many people call you when they need to fix things, you should make it official and open a service. 3. Personal virtual assistant With recent life development, many people are getting really busy all the time. Their plates are full and your hands will be valuable. The job requested can be many and various, but challenging. 4. Life therapist and coach If you have any wisdom, and you like to share it, be a coach or therapist through call, and receive credit card payment. 5. Auction dealer Auction is interesting and many people are interested on it. Be a virtual dealer and put them in eBay to get you better marketing.

Quote Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason why so few engage in it. — Henry Ford

objective, give failure examples and analyze the mistakes. They should be interested on how you are so serious in it. Create connection: Sometimes, your family just cannot understand the type of your business. If you can find one similar, you can build a connection with it so they have pictures. Their involvement: When you consider things and try to make a decision, you should thinking about asking their advice and ideas. They will get involve on this and getting interested more. Plan B demo: Bad things happen. In this case, you should make a plan B. Then, your job will be explaining your plan B so your family feels the security. Accounting: You absolutely need accounting. It gives you actual records on the entire things. Showing the accounting to your family will be great ideas to show them how potential your business is. Small success: Share every small success with your family. They will feel the joy and get more interested on what you do. This will get them more into understanding and acceptance. Support: Try to find additional support. If one of your relatives is successful entrepreneur, you should ask him to help you explain to the family. This will be really helpful. Leave them be: Sometimes, a family just does not get it. If so, leave them be. They do not have to like your business but you need to make sure that you share it with them when you are succeeded.

Save on eating N

ot everyone wants to do meal prep while traveling. But there's more than one way to keep down the cost of road food. Visit a supermarket. If your hotel or hostel has a microwave you can heat up frozen dinners or precooked food from the deli department. Or bring back a rotisserie chicken, some bread, a bottle of salad dressing and vegetables you can eat raw (carrot, cauliflower, radishes, et al.) to feed two to four people for less than the cost of one restaurant entrĂŠe. Breakfast for lunch. Some restaurants offer breakfast all day. Two eggs, potatoes and toast are cheap but also filling. Add meat if

you must. Lunch = main meal. Breakfast not enough for you? Order the meat loaf plate or manicotti special. Sure, it's a little more generous at 6 p.m. -- but it's noticeably cheaper at noon. For dinner just have a sandwich from your grocery-store makings. Hit happy hour. Download one of those apps that search for the best happy hour deals, i.e., the ones with super cheap (or free) appetizers. Use a daytime app, too. Generalists will help you find food wherever you roam. You can sort by category, meal specials and other filters. More frugal tactics Buy the Entertainment Book.

3 useful guides for your more compelling brand's story


ight now, promoting your brand so you can get more and more customers are not as easy as you thought. You will need to make more effort not only because you have many competitors, but people tend to dig the stories behind it as well. Why people are interested on our brand, why people like the brand and prefer on it and why people keep using it are essential. There are a lot of why here. Here are useful suggestions to build your compelling brand story. Find real reasons why people use it You have three major resources for this. You have your customers absolutely, your valuable employees, and society reaction. From your employees, you can ask for feedback on why they use your product and brand. You can also ask your employees on why they keep working every day

and get into the office. This may have the relation to your great brand. In the end, try to find out how people react by searching on the internet. How they talk about you, their comments, and their critics can be valuable treasure. This is your first step. Be creative on how you share the story When you already get the entire reasons and stories, it is time for you to share it to the world. Be creative in how you share it. Include it on your commercial video. If you make special video for this, you should post it on your website and let people watch it. Do not forget to post your photos with your customers, employees, and on your activities and events on your website and social media. People love it. Enrich it with several quotes from customers, employees, and experts. People will really like how your brand makes such a big influence. Publish your company story This is super essential. The idea is not to exaggerate everything, but we will let people know just how it is. Put the story in a fancy like posting. Put the posting on your home page. You can have the extension of the story on other page linked from the home page. Use social media to link everyone to your story. Make sure that people know you are special, and your brand is the most special. Post the video and story on your company blog as well. Spread and publish it. Now, you know how to make the story and make sure people dig your brand all the time. Work hard on it and it will help you. Try now and good luck.

Go to and scope out the edition for the city/region you're visiting. If the coupons look good, buy the book -- but go through a cash-back shopping. Split your supper. Heaven knows some restaurants overload the plates. Share one big meal, drink water instead of soda or beer, and don't gripe if you're assessed a "shared plate" fee. Take your punch cards. Chain sub shops, bakeries and burrito joints operate just about everywhere. Some are so-so, others quite nice. Fill up your customer loyalty card faster by volunteering to pick up co-workers' lunch orders in the weeks before your trip. On the subject of loyalty . Be a fan. Facebook and Twitter are a great way to find freebies and other offers from national chains. Go to the club. The warehouse club, that is. If you see a Costco or Sam's Club, stop in for the kosher hot dog and drink (N150) or a pizza to share with your traveling companions. You don't actually have to be a member; I'm not. I simply walk in, smile and say, "I'm just picking up a pizza." They always wave me in. Saving serious money Buy a voucher. Groupon, Living Social and other sites sell some very nice deals; read the fine print to be aware of any exclusion. You can buy these deals through some cash-back sites for additional savings. But before you do . . . Look for vouchers on the secondary market. Sometimes the discounts are incredibly good. Bring your own food. This bears repeating. A cooler is a natural for car trips. Instead of buying deli sandwiches, buy deli makings. Also buy things like a small jar of pickles, containers of cream cheese and whipped butter, milk for your morning coffee or cornflakes, good bread, bagels, crackers, cereal or instant oatmeal, apples, dried fruit, nuts and M&Ms and you're set. You might not want to eat all your meals that way, but even one or two a day from the cooler saves some bucks.





Now we're paying dearly for our sloppiness

resident Goodluck Jonathan, Tuesday, announced a detailed budget in aid of victims of the unusual floods that have been ravaging some states since July this year. In Kogi, one of the states hit the most by the floods, close to 600,000 persons have been made destitute. In a radio and television broadcast to a bewildered nation, the President said his government would spend N17.6 billion in "direct financial assistance" to flood victims in all the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja. The states are placed in four categories, depending on the severity of the disaster which again determines which state gets what. For instance, in category A are the eight worst affected states of Oyo, Kogi, Benue, Plateau, Adamawa, Delta, Bayelsa and Anambra, each of which will get N500 million. All the states and the FCT will share N13.3 bn of the relief budget while N4.3bn will go to agencies responsible for disaster management. For the first time, Jonathan, that Tuesday morning, looked like the president who cares, one who connects with suffering Nigerians. Only there is one snag. That demonstration of leadership came too late for those communities washed away by the floods and families who have lost loved ones and their means of livelihood. The President's 'relief' package is coming a clear two months after the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) issued a weather alert on August 3 warning that the rains this year would be unusually heavy , leading to flooding in several states in both north and south of the country. "The northern sector of the country will

experience peak rainfall in August through October," it said, warning about the prospect of the occurrence of above-normal rainfall which may lead to surface run-off and flooding that may accompany further one-day high rainfall". The circular was very specific about the states that would experience massive flooding: Lagos, Ogun, Delta, Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Bauchi, Gombe, Kano, Katsina

Our forebodings have been justified. The states waited for the floods to bombard their people and now, the federal government has been "blackmailed" into doing the cleaning up and Jigawa. The first five are coastal states, bordering the Atlantic Ocean, while the other five are in the country's northern Sahel region. As it has turned out, Delta is in the President's category A of the states hit the hardest by the deluge. NIMET did not stop at warning of an impending climatic disaster; it went on to advise that people stop dropping refuse in drains that will block them. However, it could have done more to awaken the government to the gravity of the environmental challenge ahead. That the President of the Nigerian Senate, David

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Mark, would come out to say that nobody had envisaged the massive destruction that the floods are wreaking on the country, suggests very little public enlightenment or sensitization was done by NIMET to follow up on its weather advice. If that had been done, we believe, hopefully the nation would have been saved the tragedy now staring us in the face. Incidentally, this was our position in an editorial we published on this very page on August 19, a week after NIMET released its circular. We said in that editorial: "NIMET has done well by not just giving a general warning; it has gone on to name the states that will be the worst hit by the coming rainstorms. It is now up to the governments of those states and their people to take measures to obviate the deadly impact of the inclement weather." We noted that "In the past, the governments of state prone to natural disasters such as floods had used them to blackmail the federal government and wealthy Nigerians to pour in money and relief materials which, regrettably ended up in the pockets of their functionaries. Now is the time for the 10 states named by NIMET to say it if they need help, not after the damage, in both human and material terms, will have been done." Our forebodings have been justified. The states waited for the floods to bombard their people and now, the federal government has been "blackmailed" into doing the cleaning up and rich individuals almost compelled to provide money and other reliefs. We at Peoples Daily condole with victims of this avoidable national tragedy, and hope that there won't be "The fire next time".









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By Nina Mezu-Nwaba


he torture and burning alive of four University of Port Harcourt Students at Aluu Community in Rivers State, Nigeria, all under 22 years of age by villagers/students, for alleged crimes, etc., without an option to try the case is unacceptable barbaric jungle justice that should not be associated with a country like Nigeria. A country where those that loot billions are celebrated and those that commit minor crimes are not only imprisoned but sometimes tortured or sacrificed in a manner that makes animal killing look humane. The University and the government should protect these adolescents, some of whom are still minors, from jungle justice. Even if they committed the minor crimes they are accused of, they should be reported to the appropriate authorities. It must be remembered that they are the victims of bad governance and greed in Nigeria, a country where mediocrity is celebrated, a country where folks get rich overnight by buying elections and looting the


The immolation of Uniport 4 public treasury. Such folks are celebrated by all and portrayed as the rich and the successful in Nigeria. The average Nigerian appears not to mind that the wealth is ill gotten. Bad behavior in institutions of higher learning should be condemned and good behavior should be promoted. This malaise and anomie appear to be the logical consequence of a corrupt society where children have no good role models. Good government and good leadership beget good followership. If the government cannot protect its citizens generally, it becomes more difficult for University Chancellors to protect their students, our future generation of leaders; however, University Chancellors need to do more to protect the students under their care. Any child under 24 years of age is still growing. Universities are responsible for children left under their care and my heart bleeds for the students. All concerned folks and well meaning people need to

put up a position statement to University Chancellors to protect our future generation of leaders in the Universities; protection by educating them on good behavior, punishing and having zero tolerance for cultism and bad behavior, protection from the villagers around the school environment, by having gates or security around approved off campus hostels. The University, the students and the villages around the school environment should see themselves as one community. To do nothing is no longer an option. The Mubi Massacre on October 1, 2012, in Adamawa State where students were called out by their names and butchered like animals is a gruesome act beyond insanity. So also is the killing of the University of PortHarcourt students at Aluu Community in Rivers State. It is not enough to investigate these incidents; every effort must be made to tackle the socio-cultural and economic reasons or “excuses”

that foster these sociopathic and unacceptable behaviors. Nigeria has failed its people and more so the young who are a product of the environment we have created for them - institutions perennially on strike, and after graduation, possibly, the highest youth unemployment in the world. The root-cause of the problems stare us in the face. We need to take a step back and do the right thing for the young and for the nation before we lose them all to jungle justice, hard drugs, bad roads, HIV, lack of aviation safety, etc. This is very distressful whether we personally know the kids involved or not, it is indeed a Public Health Emergency. They are our fellow brothers and sisters. They are Nigerians. They are human beings. It is not enough to watch and cry. This is a call to all to be the Voice for the Voiceless. A significant change must start now. It should have started years ago. It has become too much, too unbearable and violates all Human Rights laws and decency. We all need to

speak out and up and in unmistakable terms let the President, the Governors, the Senators, Members of the State and National Assemblies, Ministers and Commissioners, University Chancellors and Secondary School Principals and others in leadership positions know that ENOUGH IS ENOUGH - the problem of insecurity, the kidnapping, the raping, the killing and maiming, stealing, drugs, cultism, alcohol, etc. Unfortunately for every visible or invisible band of youth miscreants, there is an adult teacher, sponsor, financier, protector and godfather lurking in the dark. Together, I believe we can make a difference and affect a change. Let us start converting and winning these lost souls one by one by our good example and holding the Government, all Leaders and University Leaders accountable. Doing nothing is no longer an option. Dr. Nina Mezu-Nwaba wrote in from Maryland, USA

Yakowa and politics of internal revenue generation By Emmanuel Ado


overnor Patrick Yakowa of Kaduna state knows that the only way to keep his legion of opponents quiet, is to deliver real democratic dividends. This is against the backdrop of the fact that he will hardly ever be judged for his strengthening of institutions, willingness to act in a transparent and fair manner, nor his readiness to be accountable for his decisions and actions, which includes prudent use of resources and acts that are as important as the construction of roads, and houses. In Nigeria it will always be by the number of roads, health centres – even when there are no medical doctors to man them and so on, that one will be judged. Contracts must be awarded and the governor would be applauded as hard working. The quiet work of ensuring that medical doctors are trained by the State University, the absence of thugs running errands and such like, is not an evidence of an “action governor”. So Yakowa, who is naturally unassuming and a very contented person, has drastically changed especially, as regards raising resources to fund his developmental projects, which places equal premium on human capital development, as in the provision of infrastructure. His ambition to drastically increase the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), must be viewed against this background of an emerging and creative perspective to maximize the potential of the sleeping giant that is Kaduna state. Kaduna State, the third most populous state in Nigeria, with a population of about seven (7) million people, gets between 4.5 naira and 5 billion naira monthly from the federation account. And internally generated revenue of about 700 million naira. Between

May 2011 and April 2012, the state has generated about 10 billion naira, got about 61 billion naira from the federation account and a paltry 9 billion naira from value added tax. And of this amount, recurrent expenditure and pension and gratuity gulped about 26 billion naira. Add, overhead cost, and the huge expenditure on security, this will make the informed appreciate why the governor had to set up and chair the high powered committee on revenue generation. stressed that in spite of the paucity of funds, Kaduna State is witnessing massive development in virtually all sectors. This is largely attributable to the prudent management of resources by the governor and his team, even as efforts continue to block leakages in the system. Studies show that most states only collect a fraction of their total revenue just as Internally Generated Revenue for most states, account for only about 10 percent of their total revenue. The implication of this is that bulk of their revenue comes from the federation account and value added tax (VAT). In this wise, when Abuja fails, states are always in a terrible mess. It was in his determination to change this ugly trend that Yakowa inaugurated a 21member committee with the mandate of identifying untapped revenue and workable strategies towards collecting the revenue, a critical examination of the internal revenue machinery and lastly, but more importantly the implementation of its report. A welcome development because in Nigeria, non- implementation of reports is our second nature. It is indeed the undoing of all serious developmental efforts. From the report of the revenue strategic objective committee, the immediate objective of government is the funding of the

entire overhead expenditure of the state government in the short term and in the long run, the more than 4.3 billion naira huge monthly wage bill of the civil service from IGR. The question most people have been asking is about the capacity of the state government to achieve this target. Is the target not over ambitious they ask? A question they ought not ask, considering that the initiative is after all about the development of the state and that finally the government is calling on the people to play their role in the provision of services. There is this famous quote by Emeril Lagasse: “In order to be big you have to think big. If you think small, you are going to be small.” But the indications so far are looking good as the initiative has substantially increased of the IGR. Figures from the ministry Finance showed a 40 percent increase in IGR between January to June 2012, in comparison to the same period in 2011, and this is in spite of the security challenges. It can be made better if professionals who have the habit of charging scandalous fees, but are only willing to pay 3,000 naira a year as income tax, pay what is appropriate and commensurate with their income. More importantly, if only the elite who talk the most, but will never pay their ground and water rates and if only some vehicle

Inspection Officers will work for the common good and not themselves, to mention just a few, the bottom line is that Kaduna State would be free from the “slavery of federation account”. While it is true that payment of taxes would always be unpopular particularly in Nigeria, it must be understood that it has never and would never be popular. Some Libertarians see it as “government aggression,” but the fact remains that governments, in this case Kaduna State has a responsibility to provide services, infrastructure, security etc. So, how does it raise the much needed fund to meet its obligations, if it doesn’t impose taxes? Taxes alone can never provide the entire revenue that any government needs. But it can at least substantially meet the need. And this is what Yakowa wants to achieve. The duty of the government remains to ensure that revenue collected is judiciously spent on the well being of the people. And the duty of the people, the reason for the existence of government, is that they play their part in the social contract – by paying their taxes. The payment further guarantees them the right to ask questions. And this is the beauty of the efforts by governments as they go back to the basics . A development that will invariably help institute a culture of accountability and fiscal discipline.

It was in his determination to change this ugly trend that Yakowa inaugurated a 21-member committee with the mandate of identifying untapped revenue and workable strategies towards collecting the revenue, a critical examination of the internal revenue machinery and lastly, but more importantly the implementation of its report

The Yakowa initiative is highly commendable because it is a total package which has critically blocked leakages in the revenue agencies and worked out a package of incentives to motivate revenue staff. It has also brought charges and rates which have been stagnant over a very long period of time, to new economic realities. The Inauguration of a governing board for the revenue board, engagement of consultants in the area of direct assessment, tax audits, motor vehicle licensing and ICT software platform to partner with the revenue board. The government has also, while embarking on an aggressive public enlightenment, set up a revenue court. Having ensured that it actually collects what is due to it, the Kaduna state government has now delved into the issue of untapped revenue sources. Professionals from Abuja Geographical Information System (AGIS) are working with the state government to deliver a Kaduna Geographical Information System(KGIS), promulgation of new laws, like the hotel surcharge law, the exploration of mineral resources would be given a big push when the on -going geological mapping of minerals In the state is completed. The committee considering the men and women that constituted it, showed evidence of knowledge and foresight. Presently it is looking at the possibility of a single agency, to collect local government council revenue, just as it is looking at the issue of multiple levies. The comprehensive review and update of existing internal revenue sources, payer database of local government councils and the development of an e- based internal and accounting machinery would definitely re-position this all important tier of government for more efficient service delivery. Emmanuel Ado wrote in from Kaduna.


By Churchill Okonkwo


n the beginning, he claimed not to be a politician but a saint and successful businessman that volunteered to serve and build a new Anambra. Less than 2 years to the end of his tenure, Ndi Anambara are beginning to see the true color of Governor Peter Obi. Like Apostle Simon Peter, “Saint” Peter Obi had enough faith in Jesus to start his political career by challenging the rigging of Anambra State Governorship election by Andy Ubah, just like Apostle Simon Peter started walking boldly on the water. But like Apostle Peter who began to drown when he saw the wind and waves, Peter Obi started drowning when he saw the massive flow of cash and powers of the governor on assuming office. Jesus called Apostle Simon Peter “Mr. Little Faith” because he doubted Jesus and his word. I call Peter Obi the saint who sinned not just because he slept while he should be watching but because has deceived Ndi Anambra more than three times even while communing with the bishops just like Apostle Peter denied Jesus three times. Here, I will expose the hypocrisy, lies, deceit, foolishness, and arrogance of the governor who sinned. Peter Obi is a man of many contradictions. It is an open secret that Peter Obi has heavily bribed and chained the State House of Assembly into a state of comma. Now all the house members do is gallivant around town and wait for “bills” or any form of executive action that requires their approval and then demand that it be “dressed up” before the house will give it due consideration. For a bill to be “dressed up,” it means that Peter Obi has to spend millions bribing the House

By Olaitan Ladipo


ay what you like about him, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, former Adviser to President Olusegun Obasanjo and former Aviation Minister has proved severally that he will stand up to be counted when it matters. While his brash manner may suggest that Femi is not the most reflective individual, dealing it off the cuff is not necessarily a bad attribute. However, just as he consistently expresses his opinion on matters of great importance fearlessly, so do his critics castigate him relentlessly. Taking an objective view, one cannot but ask if Fani-Kayode truly deserves some of the denunciations directed at him? I have looked at all of Femi FaniKayode’s campaigns and found that not one, I repeat not one of them, lacks merit. One of his campaigns, which I support whole-heartedly, is insistence that Nigeria’s historical records must reflect fact and truths, not revisions from Arewa House, or chauvinistic versions from Lagos and Ibadan, or selective selfjustifying accounts from Enugu. Fani-Kayode’s adversaries fall into three clear categories. The first and most vociferous is the aggrieved Yoruba national element, which is yet to learn to stop to visit the political sins of the father unto the son. Second and perhaps the most powerful of Fani-Kayode’s opposition, is the [mostly Northern] antiOlusegun Obasanjo element. These are the former President’s opponents, and their supporters, on many of whose toes Femi stepped in the course of his participation in Obasanjo’s government between 2003 and 2007. Apart from the two justifiable categories above, there is a third


The ‘saint’ who sinned

members to have his way. That was reports and columns about his SABMiller while the rest of us why Governor Obi boasted in 2011 administration” as reported by Sahara continues to wallow in poverty; that, “I have known the rules of Reporters, the governor recently appointing commissioners who are impeachment. Nobody can impeach compensated the reporters for a job figureheads that cannot execute me again. If they try it again, I will well done by offering them the projects worth even fifty thousand scatter them.” It is a sin for Peter Obi to positions of caretaker committee Naira without the his “exclusive” in various local approval. continue to “scatter” the State House chairmen governments in the state. The Theodore Roosevelt once said with ego Ndi Anambra. “The best Peter Obi’s other sins executive is include metamorphosis the one who from a defender of has sense democracy to active enough to rigger when he Peoples Daily welcomes your letters, opinion articles, text pick good colluded with the likes men to do of Dora Akunyili and messages and ‘pictures of yesteryears.’ All written what he Uche Ekumife to contributions should be concise. Word limits: Letters - 150 wants done, massively rig the words, Articles - 750 words. Please include your name and and selfAnambra Central a valid location. Letters to the Editor should be addressed restraint to Senatorial election in keep from Aniocha LGA. His to: meddling recent romance with with them Chuma Nzeribe; a The Editor, while they celebrated evil with Peoples Daily, 1st Floor Peace Plaza, do it.” In criminal mind further 35 Ajose Adeogun Street, Utako, Abuja. Peter Obi points to a man whose however, actions on a Sunday Email: let N d i mass does not reflect his SMS: 07037756364 Anambra corrupt actions in the has a other 167 hours of the week. Perhaps, we should forgive him reporters are one Tony Okafor, Emeka Governor that is equivalent to because as an English poet and novelist Odegwu, Chuks Ilozue and Jude tortoise in the animal kingdom. Aphra Behn said, “there is no sinner Atupuluazi. The book of proverbs told Governor Obi is the only ‘wise man’ us that it is better to be a sinner than a in Anambra State, the king that like a young saint”. But Peter Obi is not young. He has hypocrite. Governor Peter Obi has deceives his subjects, and ultimately a one-man administration that has been the governor for more than six however chosen both. It has been augured that no regards to democratic principles years. Six years that the locust ate in Anambra State. Six years of Governor Peter Obi has succeeded and ethics. Following the devastating flood performance that revealed in ‘chasing’ away looters and corrupt hypocrisies in spades and yet he still politicians out of the state. But in the that affected parts of the state, the claims to be sanctified. Peter Obi has process, he has made himself the government just opened several been living in two worlds; half-sinner “Alpha and Omega” of corruption accounts named “ Anambra State and half-saint or should I say 100% in Anambra State. Awarding Flood Disaster Emergency Fund.” I sinner and 100% saint? After months contract to cronies and friends feel the pains and suffering of those of offering “financial inducement to without due process and open affected by the flood and encourage senior editors as well as placing bidding; using his influence and the all that can help to do so. However, it advertising supplements in various name of Anambra State to acquire is worth noting that the LGAs newspapers in exchange for flattering shares for himself and children at recently affected by flooding in

Anambra State officially gets about 400 million Naira monthly federal allocation. Where is this money? For the governor’s media assistant, Valentine Obienyem (a big beneficiary of the corrupt practices of the governor) to be telling Ndi Anambra not to politicize the devastating flood is absurd. The question for Obienyem is: how much of this money that rightfully belong to these LGAs is being deployed to help the homeless and the stranded? Mr. Governor, I commend you for leading the rescue effort, but having yourself pictured on a lonely boat is like “killing a snake and carrying it in our hands when we have a bag for putting things in.” I believe that those affected will love it more if their money from the federal government is deployed for their resettlement and rehabilitation. Mr. Governor you sinned by appointing commissioners and LG caretaker chairpersons that do not even have the resources to hire a boat and tour the areas affected by the flood not to talk of resources needed to relocate and resettle the affected population. It is OK for Peter Obi (an acclaimed miser) to be selfish enough to deny his butts faeces. But is a sin to refuse to use the fund allocated to these LGs in this current rescue and rehabilitation operation. Finally, I leave Governor Peter Obi with the words of Chinua Achebe from ‘Things Fall Apart’: “Travellers with closed minds can tell us little except about themselves.” We have seen you Governor and we have also seen the deceit, corruption, the lies and worst still the arrogance. Your story in the past six years has been that of clouded and distorted vision. My Anambra can and should be doing better. Churchill Okonkwo can be reached at

blue as a cloudless sky. Second is the late Deputy Premier’s deftly exploitation of his political connections. Having been [an effective] tool for Nigeria’s rulers in their takeover and subjugation of the Western Region in the sixties, Remi Fani-Kayode, a Cambridge-educated lawyer, subsequently cashed in his political chips in the emergent political order. In the course of which he reportedly handed Femi to one of the godfathers of Nigeria’s politics, Alhaji Umaru Shinkafi, for tutelage and mentoring. In effect, the family have maintained their wealth and retained political prominence. Expectedly, that social and political Houdini only rankle Yoruba national sentiments the more. It is thus no surprise that each time Femi Fani-Kayode opens his mouth or puts pen to paper, Southwest knives come out in a barrage. With good reasoning though, Femi is a good Yoruba. His passionate defence of Yoruba national ideals; the force with which he argues for Yoruba freedom; and the way that he displays his ethnic pride, should be enough to mitigate any ancestral wrong. Especially when one compares Femi to other pretenders and impostors, currently parading themselves in Yoruba leadership grandstands. Only Fani-Kayode spoke when recently old Usman Farouk blatantly insulted the whole of the Yoruba race. Other so-called Yoruba champions are busy embezzling Yoruba people’s well-being and scrambling to steal even yet-unborn Yoruba children’s future. How many religion leaders in the Southwest spoke, when that contemptible criminal Shekau threatened to murder all of Yoruba

in the President’s first term. According to Fani-Kayode, his well-known bluntness encouraged Obasanjo to engage his services in the first place, and boy did he do the job with gusto. While people can justifiably criticise Femi Fani-Kayode for deciding to serve in Obasanjo’s cabinet, having accepted the position it is ludicrous to berate him for doing an effective job. Femi’s same robust style was evident at the Aviation ministry where he put his legs, so to say, into the same pair of trousers with foreign airlines, who not only charged Nigerians unfairly higher fares than comparable journeys worldwide, but whose flight attendants also treated Nigerian passengers like something they scraped off the sole of their shoes. Records are there to show that on-board international flight services improved because of Femi FaniKayode’s challenge. In addition to which the number of plane crashes went down to nil during his tenure. Critics who refer constantly to Fani-Kayode’s prosecution for corruption at the ministry need to remember that the trial is yet to conclude. Today, Bill Clinton remains the most popular politician in the United States. While nobody should encourage wrongdoing, it is testimony to the fact that leaders do not need to be saints. Some citizens are even calling for a review of the American constitution to enable Clinton contest a third term. More than ever, Nigeria needs leaders with the courage of their convictions. Femi Fani-Kayode, warts and all, is one such politician. Olaitan Oladipo is reachable on


In defence of Femi Fani-Kayode group that is of little importance and hardly worth anybody’s time for serious mention. It consists of a chattering class of envious peers and internet snipers, obviously some of whom know Fani-Kayode closely. To this group, Femi’s offences range from being born rich, to being a Yoruba, to his alleged drug abuse past, to Femi’s adoration of late Emeka Ojukwu, even to playing polo with known oligarchs from northern Nigeria. I am interested in only the first two groups. The Fani-Kayode clan is definitely not the most popular in Yorubaland because of the political antecedents of Femi’s father, late Chief Remi Fani-Kayode, aka Fani Power, Deputy Premier of old Western Region. Remi Fani-Kayode’s split with and subsequent opposition to Yoruba hero Chief Obafemi Awolowo and to the Action Group party’s ideals still haunt the family’s image and prospects in Yoruba politics, even today. So too does the Chief’s perceived betrayal of late Premier of the Western Region Chief Samuel Ladoke Akintola, to Igbo coupists on 15th January 1966. It is also the family’s fate that one of Awolowo’s faithful, and protégé, Ooni Olubuse Oba Okunade Sijuwade, is traditional ruler (a powerful one at that) of the Fani-Kayode political home turf. Some records say that the rift with Awolowo had its root in the Ile-Ife throne in the first place. However, both senior and junior Chiefs FaniKayode have managed to stay a step ahead of the Yoruba posse. They achieved that for two essential reasons. Firstly, the Yoruba have a traditional, even if waning and in this case, grudgingly, deference to nobility. The Fani-Kayode blood is as

people in the North—since, obviously, hardly any Yoruba accepts or fits into Boko Haram’s Al Qaedaic concept of Islam? Yoruba Muslim leaders simply paraded big turbans and condemned Goodluck Jonathan for not taking action; while their Christian counterparts waited to collect tithes and offerings on Sunday, even knowing that some of them are responsible for posting several of the pastors murdered, to northern parishes. Many people fail to appreciate that Fani-Kayode’s uncommon courage is fraught with personal risks, seeing that these godless murderers have no qualms about killing little children or attacking even Emirs in their palaces. While there is great wisdom in avoiding lunatics like Boko Haram, as many leaders have obviously chosen to do by keeping their peace, those, like Femi Fani-Kayode, that are willing to repudiate evil directly and publicly, deserve our commendation and support. There is a war between Nigeria and terrorism. The winner is certain but the length of time it takes will certainly depend on the courage of our leaders. In a patriotic but characteristic blunt speech at an Abuja newspaper, Fani-Kayode urged the Presidency to reach out to powerful Northerners. Those who could help with the Boko Haram war but who allegedly balked, for being sidelined. Subsequent changes at the top of Nigeria’s security apparatus and evident progress thereafter vindicate Femi. Those who oppose his link to President Obasanjo easily forget that Femi Fani Kayode was one of Obasanjo’s fiercest critics, prior to and



By Hassan Gimba Ahmed

A role for Muhammadu Buhari

By Paul I. Adujie

Nigeria under water or waterlogged!


igeria is under water! Nigeria is literally underwater! 22 out of 36 federating states of Nigeria are rapidly being submerged. I recently wrote two articles in which I discussed the parlous condition of roads, highways and byways in Nigeria. The theme of the two articles centred on the planning, execution or implementation of Nigeria public infrastructures, with particular emphasis on the centrality of roads, highways and bridges as focus. Since then, what looked at the time as isolated incidents in Lokoja, Okene and some parts of Bayelsa State, have quickly become a national emergency. Nigeria is rife with speculations now, to the effect that the nation and government of Cameroon has decided to teach Nigeria and Nigerians a bit of lesson in war waged with water. And so it goes that Nigeria’s neighbor with which we share a common border in the easternmost part, Cameroon, a nation with which Nigeria also share common history and culture war with water. This speculation regarding an orchestrated and choreographed war with water by Cameroon remains to be confirmed or proven. But what is beyond dispute, and it is the open secret, which is the poor state of roads, highways and bridges in Nigeria. What is observable and discernible to the ordinary eye, so far is, merely the flooding from seasonal happenstances without any domestic or Cameroonian or some other foreign conspiracies to be found

in current floods ravaging Nigeria nationwide! It is mere human ineptness and wanton neglect wrapped in poor planning, marinated and sautéed in extreme lack of vision! The onset of the current floods deluges across the majority of Nigeria’s federating 36 states. Rains and floods are foreseeable and even predictable. Purposeful government, and planners with a modicum of foresight would take measures to forestall damage and destruction. The Role and Purpose of Government in Nigeria of which I wondered loudly about recently, is now being put to the highest scrutiny as these floods ravages are spreading nationwide. And it is glaringly clear to all observers now, that many Nigerian roads are too poorly constructed. The flimsiest of floods have rendered roads vehicularimpassable. These present conditions which were precipitated by recent flood events, were clearly foreseeable, preventable and avoidable. Any reasonable or even cursory examination, would have reveal erosions and floods paths, which would of course should have required planners and contractors to deploy measures and resources to tackle what is now rapidly becoming a national disaster or catastrophe. In “Port Harcourt Bridge Collapse; Emblematic Of Public Infrastructures In Nigeria” I articulated the following “In SouthSouth and South-East, the roadways are at their worst during the raining seasons and rain is a fact of life in these

parts, it is incessant, an honest construction efforts therefore require a delicate balancing act in materials and timing of work.” “These roads should be elevated above water levels and there must be adequate and sufficient grading, compacting and compressing of earth, cement, lots of cement and then gravels and asphalt!” “But sadly, the current mode (of roads and highways constructions) require earth movers mowing the topsoil and pouring asphalt and when the rains come, these feeble-flimsies are all washed away and this creates more opportunity for more contracts… a revolving door and roadtripping rolled-into-one!” The above statements are now more prescient, poignant and profound, in light of enormity and magnitude of harm, damage and displacements and dislocations which have been inflicted upon millions of Nigerians, as a direct result preventable flooding! The federal road between Warri through Patani which leads onwards

to Bayelsa State is now closed and cordoned off by floods. It is the same for the so-called East-West Road which leads connects Bayelsa to Rivers States. The world already knows about the flood havocs in Okene, Lokoja, a major road artery to Abuja our nation’s capital! Millions of Nigerians are now grappling with the consequences of poor public planning regarding our infrastructures by way of roads and bridges which are now off limits to all Nigerians. Floods are foreseeable and preventable... floods are liable to occur, depending on the geographical location, or terrain and topography. These are observable and discoverable natural phenomenon. What the strata of governments in Nigeria do, were Nigeria in locations such as Mississippi in the USA, or Amsterdam, in Holland or Florence and Sicily in Italy? There is an unfolding national disaster, and catastrophe which could severely test the, patience, the will and tolerance and endurance of

Price of foodstuff have risen sharply, and in some accounts, prices of goods and services have quadrupled due to increased travel or transportation costs arising from road closures. And all of these beg the question: what is the role and purpose of government in Nigeria?

Nigerians with food prices already rising so high nationwide. This nationwide disaster could be so cataclysmic and it could quickly convince Nigerians that our government at all levels are not fulfilling their purposes and roles as required and expected in a democracy. Enterprising unemployed in Delta State and elsewhere in Nigeria, where flooding has become a fact of daily life, have now resorted to helping to push stranded vehicles out of waterlogged ditches, potholes and gullies on what used to be Nigeria’s poor excuse for highways before the floods. Federal highways are now controlled by the neglected unemployed youth, for a fee. And so, sundry Area Boys and others, have joined in to fill the vacuum, in the profound absence by traffic wardens, police personnel, Federal Roads Safety Corps and sundry uniformed military and paramilitary, who ought to control traffic and or manage the crisis which is rapidly enveloping Nigeria through floods! The movements of goods and services, and everything connected with interstate commerce have come to a complete halt. Life in Nigeria has come to a grinding stop. Price of foodstuff have risen sharply, and in some accounts, prices of goods and services have quadrupled due to increased travel or transportation costs arising from road closures. And all of these beg the question: what is the role and purpose of government in Nigeria? Paul I. Adujie wrote in from New York, USA.



Environmental sanitation: Violators now to face stringent penalties

L-R: Secretary of Ministerial Committee on Clean and Green Greater Abuja Initiative, Mr. Olusegun Olusa, Chairman of the Committee and Director of Satellite Towns Development Agency (STDA), Alhaji Tukur Ibrahim Bakori and Director of National Orientation Agency for Federal Capital Territory, Mr. Moses Disa Abah, during the evacuation and mop up of heaps of refuse at Mopol Junction, yesterday, at Nyanya in Abuja.

By Josephine Ella


Photo: Mahmud Isa

Biz man allegedly abducts another man’s wife T

he Police yesterday, arraigned before an Abuja Senior Magistrates Court, a 40-year-old business man, Akeem Adewale, for allegedly abducting another man’s wife. The police prosecutor, Andrew Aichenede, told the court that on September 26, one Olorunfemi Michael of FHA, Lugbe, reported the accused at the Lugbe Police

Station. Michael told the police that his wife, Bosede Olorunfemi, had disappeared since September 23. The prosecutor said the wife was however found on September 26, at about 7.00 am, in the accused person’s house at Iddo village, Abuja. He added that when the accused was confronted on the presence of Bosede in his house, he

failed to give any satisfactory explanation. According to him, the offence contravenes Section 273 of the Penal Code. Adewale, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge. The Senior Magistrate, Omolola Akindele, granted him bail in the sum of N50,000 with two sureties in like sum, who must be resident within the jurisdiction of the court.

Akindele added that both sureties must have definite home and work place addresses, and that one of them must be residing within the vicinity of the accused person. She also said that the passport photographs of the accused person and both sureties must be affixed on the bail papers. The magistrate adjourned the case to November 6, 2012 for further hearing. (NAN)

Butchers appeal to FCTA for basic amenities By Usman Shuaibu


he Chief of butchers ( Sarki Pawa) in Gwagwalada Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Alhaji Nura Rimi, has appealed to the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA)

to provide basic necessities of life for butchers in the area to boost socioeconomic activities at the Gwagwalada abattoir. He also called on the FCTA to deem it fit to fence the abattoir to curb the security situation faced by it. Rimi, who made the appeal

while speaking with Peoples Daily in an interview in his office in Gwagwalada, noted that the Gwagwalada abattoir had been rejected in terms of infrastructural facilities. He said that his administration would continue to partner with the FCTA to put smiles on the faces of

butchers in the area. He pleaded with the FCTA to provide an enabling environment for the butchers operating in the territory. Rimi, however, advised butchers in the six area councils to be loyal to the constituted authorities where they operate.

Computer technician held in connection with N6.5m fraud


35-year-old man, Eniola Rafiu has been arraigned before a Karu Chief Magistrates Court for criminal conspiracy and forgery. The prosecutor, Sergeant Abiola Oyewusi, told the court that the accused, a computer technician, who resides at No. 4 Oguntade Street, Surulere, Lagos, committed the alleged offence in June. Oyewusi said the accused and five others, now at large, dishonestly conspired and fraudulently transferred N6.5 million from the account of Alhaji Yel Mohammed at First Bank, Enugu Branch.

“In the process of withdrawing the money from First Bank branch at Coomasie House, Central Area, Abuja, the bank contacted the Enugu branch for confirmation in order to perfect the transaction. ”It was at this juncture that the bank discovered it was a fraud; they arrested the accused person and handed him over to the police for further investigation. “During investigation, the accused was found with a forged NNPC Identity Card after claiming to be a staff of the corporation,” he said. Oyewusi said the offence is

contrary to Sections 97, 364 and 174 of the Penal Code. Also, the Investigating Police Officer, ASP Sylvester Dike, told the court that on June 15, the police received a distress call that a syndicate was operating at the bank. “I led a team of my men to the scene of the incident and discovered that the accused person was already arrested while the rest of his gang members had absconded. “Efforts made to arrest the other gang members proved abortive as the accused person is not willing to provide the police with useful information that would lead to their arrest,’’ he stated.

Rafiu pleaded not guilty to the charge and prayed the court to grant him bail. The Chief Magistrate, Alhaji Shaibu Ahmed, granted the accused bail in the sum of N1 million and a surety in like sum, who must have a reasonable means of livelihood and residing within the jurisdiction of the court. The magistrate directed the accused to be remanded in prison custody until he meets all the bail conditions. Ahmed adjourned the case to November 28, 2012 for further hearing.(NAN)

lans are in pipeline for review of the operational laws of the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) to reflect the present realities. The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed, declared the intention of the FCT Administration to this effect. In a syndicate meeting with the management staff of the AEPB Tuesday in his office at Area 11, Garki I District, Abuja, the minister therefore directed the Legal Unit of the board to commence preparation on the specific areas that need to be strengthened. This was as he noted that the contributions of all the stakeholders to enable the FCT Administration send same to the National Assembly for passage is required. He lamented that some of the penalties provided in the Abuja Environmental Protection Board Act for offenders are too weak to make enforcement in the present day Nigeria effective. He said that the reviewed Act will be given teeth to bite hard, to serve as deterrent, thereby sanitizing the entire sector. The minister said that the activities of scavengers, street hawkers and those patronizing or buying from them will be effectively tamed and controlled with heavy punishment spelt out to both the street hawker and the buyer. According to him, the FCT Administration intends to deepen environmental monitoring approach to all the nooks and crannies of the Federal Capital Territory as the AEPB operations will be decentralized for optimum performance. While calling for teamwork, he also warned that his administration will not condone any lackadaisical behaviour from any staff of the board, reiterating that any staff who is not prepared to work, should be prepared to look for alternative job. He further directed that the FCT Department of Urban and Regional Planning authenticate plots reserved for land-fill and/ or dump-sites in and around the Abuja metropolis; threatening that structures built on such plots will be revoked and demolished. He further instructed that all plots of land earmarked for public services or utility henceforth will be certificated in the name of the supervisory Department of Agency to avoid encroachment.



Handicaped students decry persistent power failure in Kuje By Adeola Tukuru


hysically challenged students from the School of the Handicapped in Kuje Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), have decried the incessant power failure in the school. The students, who made the appeal when a Non-

Governmental Organization known as the Habity Humanity Foundation visited the school recently, appealed to the Minister of the FCT, Senator Bala Mohammed, the Chairman of Kuje Area Council, Hon Danladi Estu Zhin and other relevant agencies to come to their aid. Some of the students, who spoke to newsmen on the

condition of anonymity said the black out in the school has affected their activities directly as their activities require regular and steady power supply. The principal and Head of Teacher of the school, Mrs. Victoria Agah expressed gratitude to the group for the visit and the gift items donated to the school as she

promised to put the materials into good use. Most of the students during the visit expressed joy over the caring attitude of some teachers in the school, saying that although they are physically challenged, but they have acquired skills and trade that would make them contribute their best to the society in the future.

Firewood seller turns the newly constructed bridge at Federal Housing Bus stop in Kubwa to business site.

Photo: Miriam Humbe

Abuja youths parley with traditional rulers towards peace By Adeola Tukuru


n a bid to promote peaceful co-existence in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), a group known as Kauran Bauchi Youths Development Cooperative Society has expressed its readiness to work with all traditional leaders in Abuja. The leader of the group, Suleiman Isa made the commitment when members of the group paid the traditional

ruler of Jiwa a courtesy visit in his palace yesterday. He explained that the organization is a voluntary cooperative society formed for the betterment of residents in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and they are willing to partner with traditional rulers of various communities to ensure that peace and tranquillity reigns in Abuja. Isah added that the visit was part of their routine homage to the palace to seek a traditional

intervention for continuous peace in the community where they live. According to him, since the inception, the group has helped many orphanage and also less privileged ones in the society. �Because of this our good works, most of our members have been provided with tangible means of livelihood which includes skill acquisitions training centres for members, procurement of motor bikes for member,� he said.

Also the Chief of Jiwa community, under the Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC), Alhaji Mohammed Bello Saidu commended the youths for the visit, but warned them against anything that could jeopardize relative peace and security within their various domains. He also assured that he will empower youths within and outside his community, particularly the less privileged in the society, seeking for assistance.

Police arraign man for alleged possession of two stolen buses


he police on yesterday arraigned a driver, Okechukwu Sunday, 30, before an Abuja Chief

Magistrates Court for allegedly being in possession of vehicles suspected to be stolen. Police prosecutor, Sergeant

Salisu Mohammed, told the court that the police were on patrol at Kado, Abuja, when they caught the suspect with two L300 Mitsubishi buses suspected to be stolen. He said that the accused of Kuchi Benna Kado, Abuja, committed the offence on September 28, 2012. Mohammed further said that the buses had the inscription of a church, adding that the inscription was not visible. He said that the accused presented forged vehicle particulars when the police ordered him to do so. The prosecutor said that

during police investigation, the accused could not give a satisfactory account of the buses. He said the offence contravenes Sections 319 (A) of the Penal Code. The suspect, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge. The Chief Magistrate, Mrs Ramatu Gulma, ordered that the accused should be remanded in Suleja prison in Niger. Gulma ordered the accused to file a formal bail application and adjourned the case to November 15, 2012 for further hearing. (NAN)

Tenant remanded for threatening to kill landlord


tenant, Chuks Obikwo of opposite Catholic Church, Mpape, Abuja, was yesterday ordered by an Abuja Chief Magistrates Court to be remanded in prison custody for allegedly threatening the life of his landlord over rent. Police prosecutor Musa Abdullahi told the court that on August 17, 2012, one Isah Bahago, of the same address, reported the case to the Wuse Police Station. Abdullahi said the accused had refused to pay his rent of N40,000 and when the complainant asked for it, the accused allegedly shouted at him. The prosecutor said that the accused allegedly damaged the door of the house in the process and threatened to kill the complainant and his family. He said the offence contravenes the provisions of Sections 397 and 327 of the Penal Code, but the accused pleaded not guilty. The Chief Magistrate, Mr Azubike Okeagu, said the court could not grant the accused bail because he threatened to kill the complainant. He, therefore, ordered that the accused be remanded in prison custody, and adjourned the case to November 5, 2012 for hearing. (NAN)

Applicant held for alleged burglary


he Police have arraigned an applicant, Abuchi Joseph, 32, before an Abuja Magistrates Court for conspiracy and burglary. Police prosecutor, Simon Emmanuel told the court that one Kennedy Obiozor of Bajgio Furniture Industry Limited, DakiBiyu, Jabi, Abuja, reported the case at the Life Camp Police Station on September 24, 2012. He alleged that the accused of no fix address, committed the offence on September 24. Emmanuel alleged that the accused and two others now at large broke into the complainant’s furniture shop and stole iron rods, wires, windows, and fixed aluminium rods and doors. The prosecutor said the complainant was on his way to his shop when he sighted the three men removing the items, and called the police, who arrested Joseph while the others escaped with the items valued at N300,000. He said the accused was arrested for the offence of conspiracy and burglary, which contravenes the provisions of Sections 79 and 288 of the Penal Code. The accused, however, pleaded not guilty, and Magistrate Habiba Bello granted him bail in the sum of N100,000 with one reasonable surety in like sum. She adjourned the case to October 15, 2012 for further hearing. (NAN)



Yoghurt sellers preparing for the day business, yesterday in Bwari, Abuja.

Women buying vegetable in an unhygienic environment, yesterday in Garki market, Abuja. Young women buying Irish potato at road side market, yesterday in Nyanya.

A Truck loaded with fire wood, yesterday in Area 1 Garki Abuja.

A carpenter carrying plank, yesterday in Area 7, Garki, Abuja. Photos: Justin Imo-owo





INSIDE - Pg 20 LCCI worried over short-term investors

Mob: 08033644990

Maritime sector records N320bn loss - Minister From Muhammad Adamu, Kaduna


L-R: Officials of Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC), Assistant General Managers, Technical, Mr Geoffrey Onodu, Finance, Mr Emmanuel Onwuzuruike, and Audit, Mr Jude Ogukah, during the EEDC meeting in Enugu. Photo: NAN

FG to issue N160bn Eurobond next year to finance gas pipeline for domestic use By Muhammad Nasir


he Federal Government has proposed to issue a $1billion Eurobond next year to finance a gas pipeline for domestic use. The disclosure was made yesterday by President Goodluck Jonathan when he presented a N4.93 trillion budget to parliament for 2013. In his speech, Jonathan urged parliament to accept a tighter budget because of the

ongoing uncertainty over oil prices, adding that Oil makes up around 80 % of Nigeria’s revenues. “This threat of oil price volatility remains constant and forces us to rely on a prudent methodology when calculating the benchmark price,” he said. “These are uncertain times in the world economy. We have taken necessary steps to mitigate possible negative effects of a global recession.” President Jonathan also

proposed cutting recurrent expenditure, the cost of running the government to 68.7 % of the total budget, from its current 71.47 %. However, Jonathan’s budget proposal saw the fiscal deficit coming down to 2.17 % of GDP; from 2.85 % previously, assuming the economy grows at 6.5 %, he said a lower projection than this year’s expected 6.85 % growth. The budget also assumed oil production of 2.53 million

UBA doles out free Debit MasterCard to customers By Abdulwahab Isa


o encourage the use of debit card among its clients, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc has given Free UBA Debit MasterCard to the first 100,000 new UBA debit card customers. he free debit cards are being doled out to customers in a promo tagged ‘Celebrating Freedom with MasterCard’. The promo which commenced Monday October 8, 2012 is meant to encourage customers of the bank to begin using debit cards. Divisional Head, e-Banking, UBA Plc, Dr. Adeyinka Adedeji said the promo is open to customers who “have not had or used debit cards in the last 2 years.” Explaining further he said promo is available to customers opening new accounts, active customers without debit cards and dormant customers who want to activate their accounts. To qualify for the free UBA Debit MasterCard, he said eligible

customers are expected to apply for debit card and the bank will waive the N750 card enrollment fee when the card is activated. “Though there will be an initial charge of N750, that same will be credited back to the customer upon activating the card. It is on first come first served for the first 100,000 customer” he added. This gesture is however only open to UBA Debit MasterCard. According to Head, Debit Cards, UBA Plc, Mr. Deji Olówè, “Verve, Visa Classic, Visa Dual Currency Debit Card (DCDC), Gold MasterCard are excluded, but

still available at the usual rates but Platinum and World MasterCard are available by invitation only”. The UBA Debit MasterCard is a debit card issued on customers Naira account. It provides the customer with ease of use and security by combining the global acceptance and benefits of a MasterCard. The card which is denominated in Naira can be used for both local and international transactions on ATMs, Web and POS and is highly secured with the best card technology.

barrels per day (bpd); up slightly from 2.48 million bpd these years, and a global oil price of $75 a barrel, up from $72 a barrel this year. “Money earned from oil over the benchmark price is deposited into a savings account, so any increase in that price could reduce savings and make Nigeria less resistant to oil price shocks. The Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is on an austerity drive and wants the country to save more, “Jonathan noted.

RMAFC to collaborate with stakeholders for economic diversification By Ibrahim Kabiru Sule


he Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) has expressed its determination to develop a viable roadmap that would ensure an effective utilization of Nigeria’s natural resources for effective economic diversification. Commission’s chairman, Elias Mbam made this known during the two-day “Zonal Advocacy Workshop on Economic Diversification and

Management Tip of the Day


Break the cycle of responsiveness

nce you answer an email at midnight, or take a call on your vacation, you’ve set the expectation that you’re always “on.” Your team will keep asking things of you, and you’ll likely continue to accommodate them. That is, until you break the cycle. Here’s how: Join forces. Talk to those with

whom you interact most frequently and agree on times when you’ll all be offline and unavailable. Maybe it’s an evening off, an email blackout over the weekend, or uninterrupted work times during the day. Experience the joy of turning off. Pay attention to

he Acting Minister of Defence, Erelu Olusola Obada has said that pervasive insecurity in resources-laden maritime environment has resulted in more than two billion dollars in annual financial losses in the African sub-region. Obada added that rather than contributing to stability and economic prosperity from the countries in the sub-region also suffers significant constrained investments and economic prospects, growing crime as well as potential adverse political consequences. The Minister made this known at a 2-Day Maritime Security Seminar tagged ‘Improving National and Regional Cooperation for Effective Maritime Security in the Gulf of Guinea: A Panacea for Development’ organized by the Department of Maritime Warfare of the Armed Forces Command and Staff College (AFCSC) that ended yesterday in Jaji, Kaduna. Represented by the Director Navy, Ministry of Defence, Mr. Abiodun Salami the minister noted that the Gulf of Guinea is facing socioeconomic and environmental challenges that need to be tackled effectively. She said the challenges have resulted in the growing belief that the vast resources of the Gulf are being undermined by multifaceted domestic, regional and international threats.

what it feels like to be offline. It may be hard at first but you’ll enjoy the benefits of relaxation and increased focus soon enough. Talk about it. Regularly ask your team how it’s going: Do you need to make adjustments to the offline schedule or agreements? Source: Harvard Business Review

Enhanced Revenue Generation” in Kano with the collaboration of Kano state government, as part of the commission’s on-going zonal advocacy workshops. Represented by chairman of the Diversification committee in the commission, Casmir Anyanwu, Mbam maintained that, to shore up the nation’s revenue base and reduce overdependence on oil in the face the dwindling oil market price, the diversification of the country’s economy became necessary. He stressed that the Commission is desirous of developing a viable framework that will guide governments at all levels on strategies for exploiting the huge natural resources that abound in all parts of the country, taking into consideration their areas of endowment and comparative advantage in agriculture, manufacturing, solid minerals, tourism and internallygenerated revenue.






he yearly investment inflow into the Nigeria’s construction industry in the next four years has increased from the 9.2 per cent it forecasted in the third quarter of this year to 10.5 per cent in fourth quarter. Business Monitor International (BMI), which made this disclosure in its recent quarterly report of the Nigerian construction industry, however highlighted deep-rooted corruption, violence perpetrated by militant Islamists and retaliatory forces, and a vast yet inefficient bureaucracy, as some likely risks to full implementations of the various on-going projects. According to the global watchdog, the cabinet’s approval of the long-awaited final draft of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), and the continued unbundling and privatisation of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) are expected to drive more investment into the Nigerian construction sector.

2012/13 Cocoa harvest


eavy rainfall and poor sunshine across Nigeria’s main cocoa regions in recent months will delay harvesting the new season’s crop by at least a month, farmers and analysts said on Tuesday. The main-crop harvest in Nigeria, the world’s fourth biggest cocoa-grower, was meant to start at the end of September, but farmers worried about harvesting pods without enough sunshine to dry them are leaving them on the trees. Nigeria has been suffering its worst flooding for five decades and large swaths of farmland have been submerged. President Goodluck Jonathan made a televised address on Tuesday in which he pledged aid to the flood victims. Analysts say weather conditions may also lower output this season, just as the government is trying to raise its targets.

Nigerian Banks


riminals’ penetration into the banking sector operations is gradually slowing down, as the sector recorded a loss of N5.8 billion last year, compared to the preceding year’s figure, according to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). The decline in the criminal activities at the nation’s money deposit banks came on the heels of report that the volume and value of cheque transactions nationwide increased by 11 per cent and 13 per cent respectively.

FG announces attractive tax credit to boost foreign investment Stories from Ayodele Samuel, Lagos h e F e d e r a l Government has announced a new scheme of tax credit aimed at encouraging an increase in the flow of foreign investment into the country. Minister of Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga dropped the hint at the second edition of the Nigerian International Investment Forum (NIIF) organised by the ministry in collaboration with the Commonwealth Business Council (CBC). Explaining the new incentives packaged in the form of tax credits, Aganga said going forward, companies that have invested in the development infrastructural facilities such as the construction of access roads, power plants and water plants in the course of setting up their businesses are now entitled to tax credit of up to 30 percent of the cost of generating the infrastructure. Aganga said the initiative is a temporary relief measure introduced by the federal


government to help to cushion the debilitating effects of the challenges posed by the lack of infrastructural amenities in the country, which is a major setback to the inflow of investments into the country. Another phase of the tax incentives according to the minister, which is targeted at employment generation, provides tax reliefs for any employer that hires above 10 staff. The minister noted that for any 10 people employed by any company on a particular year, the employer gets tax credit for additional employments with more credits guaranteed if the employees are kept in the organization further than two years. “The federal ministry of works is currently working hard on the development of trade related infrastructure with a target time of completion of 2014. But before then we have introduced measures to cushion the effect of infrastructure deficiency, one of which provides that any company that has invested in infrastructure will have tax credit of up to 30 percent of the cost of

generating the infrastructure,” he said. Aganga also noted that the federal government had concluded plans towards hastening up the process of company registration in the country to less than 24 hours as has been achieved in Abuja. He said the first step is to achieve the 24 hours target in Lagos, Kano and Enugu and then ensure that it becomes the norm even when you are registering the company from any other part of the world. He noted that the target for the achievement of the milestone is 2013. The minister stressed that the question about investing in Nigeria was ‘why’, not ‘when’ and ‘how’, adding that all investors that had failed to invest in Nigeria in the past had always turned around to regret their decision. “Investors like MTN took advantage of the opening up of the telecommunications industry in Nigeria while other global players were indecisive. Today those who failed to invest in the sector blame themselves when they see what MTN is making from its Nigerian operation.”

Aganga said Nigeria is at the moment the preferred destination for investment in Africa and ranks number twenty-three globally, stressing that this was an outcome of the effort of government to improve the business environment in the country. Meanwhile, the Federal Government and the United Kingdom on Monday disclosed that the two countries had reached the final stages in their plan to double international trade between them by the year 2014. Addressing a joint press, the Minister of Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga; and the Secretary, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, United Kingdom, Dr. Vince Cable; disclosed that the factors militating against effective trade between the two countries had been identified and were now being addressed to ensure the actualisation of the 2014 deadline. The current value of trade between the two nations stands at £4 billion (about N960 billion). Steps are being taken to raise the figure to £8 billion (N1.9 trillion) by 2014.

LCCI worried over shortterm investors


he Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has expressed concern over the increasing number of short-term investors bringing in “hot money”, saying it is a risk for exchange rate volatility. “Hot money” refers to funds that are controlled by investors who actively seek short-term returns. In a statement issued by the chamber, LCCI President Goodie Ibru said the risk of sudden reversal or pull-out of such funds would adversely affect price and financial market stability. Ibru said there has been a steady decline in aggregate credit to the economy and the private sector, adding that the aggregate net credit by banks to the domestic economy fell by 2.7 per cent and 0.1 per cent in the first and second quarters of the year. This, he said, was largely due to the sustained monetary tightening, significant rise in government domestic borrowing, attractive yield of government bonds and treasury bills. “The tight monetary policy stance continues to keep funds out of the reach of the private sector. With the planned issue of Treasury bills to absorb all maturing securities in the fourth quarter, liquidity is expected to remain tighter with the private sector at the receiving end,” he said.

Mr. Peter Longworth, Director General, Commonwealth Business Council,Honourable Dr. Rob Davies, MP, Minister of Trade and Industry, South Africa, Minister of Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga and Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, Chief Executive Officer, Access Bank during the grand opening of the 2nd Nigeria International Investment Forum held at the Oriental Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos.

SON intensify war against sub-standard products


he Standards Organisation of Nigeria(SON) has again intensified its on-going war against substandard products in the country, as it plans to start removing all unregistered products from the market by the end of November. SON Director-General, Dr Joseph Odumodu, said from next month the agency will start removing any product that is not registered with it, adding that the new Act of the SON will be out before the end of the year.

He said in line with its plans to ensure standardisation, the body has trained more than 2,000 SMEs operators, adding that SON will soon be empowered to start prosecuting those who are dealing a substandard products. “The bill is already with the National Assembly. Apart from this, we will be publishing companies which meet standardisation. The agency will do everything to ensure standardisation in this country,

“he said. SON said it would host the first Nigeria Quality Summit at the Transcorp Hilton hotel, Abuja, next week, with the theme: ‘Less waste, better result: Standards Increase Efficiency.’ The one day event will pull together captains of industries and agencies, as well as Quality Control Directors for the purpose of learning first hand from global authorities and quality assurance leaders from emerging markets.



World customer service week: Unity Bank commits to quality From Adesoji Oyinlola, Lagos


s part of activities to mark the World Customer Service Week, Unity Bank Plc has again restated its commitment to its customers and meeting the yearnings of its entire stakeholders through value creation. This commitment was reiterated by the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the bank, Ado Y. Wanka, represented by the Executive Director, Lagos and West ,Lanre Fagbohun, while speaking at the interactive session with the media in Lagos. According to him, the bank has put in place measures to allow for superior customer experience as never been seen before in the banking industry. Some of these measures he went on to say, include excellent security measures to ensure that on-line banking and transactions’ safety are guaranteed and uncompromised in a bid to safeguard customer identity in support of the cashless policy of the Government. He said “without an adequate security measure put in place, there is no way that Unity Bank would have been awarded the certification of

International Standard Organization (ISO) for information security and we are proud to say that we are one of the four banks that have this certification in the industry”. Unity Bank was the first deposit money bank in Nigeria using the ‘BANKS’ application software to upgrade its IT infrastructure to Oracle 11g with Web Logic. The upgrade was carried out to guarantee long term data integrity and confidentiality of the bank’s

customers’ information and records as well as high level data resilience” He also spoke on other initiatives/products that the bank has in the market such as the recent launch of the three (3) variants of MasterCard; MasterCard Verve Naira, Holy Trip MasterCard Dollar for Muslim and Christian pilgrims and MasterCard generic Dollar, which is an indication that Unity Bank has joined the prestigious league of

MasterCard Principal Member Banks worldwide and that its membership license empowers the Bank to sponsor other banks in Nigeria who may desire affiliate membership license from MasterCard Worldwide. He further explained that Unity MasterCard variants are accepted at over 1.9 million ATMS and 29.4 million merchant locations worldwide. He also spoke about the relaunch of its mobile banking

application, Unity Mobile, which places the bank in a leading role in the financial services sector by providing customers with secure real-time mobile transaction capability. According to him, all these and other initiatives are aimed at meeting the customers at the points of their need, “the customer is at the core of our business and with over 250 branches spread across the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.

NBC approves Brilla FM station By Chris Alu he National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has approved the request of Brilla Broadcasting Services Limited to share acquired rights for the English Premier League (EPL) with other broadcasting stations in the country on mutually agreed terms. The approval followed a letter signed by Dr.Larry Izamoje, the station’s chairman/CEO, informing the commission that Brilla Broadcasting Services Ltd was granted Radio rights for the Nigeria territory for matches of the English Premier League (EPL) and a request for approval to share it with other radio stations. In a letter to Brila Broadcasting Service Limited, approving the request, Mark Ojiah, secretary to the commission stated that, “The fact that you are disposed to making the content available to other operators as required by the Nigeria Broadcasting Code is both encouraging and commendable.” UTV Media (GB) Limited, the Football Association Premier League Limited’s global audio partner had appointed Brilla Broadcasting Services its exclusive English Premier League broadcast partner for the Nigerian territory ONLY. With this rights acquisition, Brilla FM in Nigeria will carry talkSPORT’s live with Barclays Premier League commentary.


L-R: Airtel Nigeria's Director of Corporate Communications and CSR, Emeka Oparah, Chief Marketing Officer, Olu Akanmu, Chief Operating Officer and Executive Director, Deepak Srivastava, Principal Character in the newly unveiled TV Commercial, Half Dollar, Group Chief Marketing Officer, Airtel Africa, Andre Beyers and Chief Sales Officer, Airtel Nigeria, Inusa Bello at the media launch of the company's new Thematic Campaign at the Lagos Sheraton Hotel and Towers on Tuesday.

Core Group Africa brings Apple warranty example to Nigeria From Suleiman Idris, Lagos


nderstanding Nigeria’s amazing potential, Apple, probably the world’s most successful company with a turnover of over $108 billion, has now officially entered Nigeria, through Core Group Africa. Apple has now made a formal entry into the country and has immediately put in place a twoyear product warrantee scheme; never seen in the Nigeria market milieu. Core Group Africa, the Value Added Distributor (VAD) for Apple

in Nigeria, officially launched the iPad locally, a few months ago as part of a global roll out, from the starting price of just N105,000. This is the first time Apple is making its products available through the official Apple channels and resellers in Nigeria. Core Group Africa is including an unbelievable benefit for Nigerian customers for the first time ever; an additional year warranty free of charge. The extra year of warranty extends the standard warranty to two years per for new iPads that are sold through Apple Authorised

Resellers. In order to qualify, customers only need to provide proof of purchase from an Apple Authorised Reseller from the official launch date and register their iPad on In addition to the two years warranty support, there are other benefits in purchasing from an Apple Authorised Reseller. Nigerian customers will have peace of mind that if repair issues arise during the warranty term, the product will be repaired or replaced by an Apple Authorised

Coca-Cola, Apple,IBM lead Interbrand’s 13th annual Best Global Brands From Ngozi Onyeakusi, Lagos


oca-Cola has retained its #1 position as the Best Global brand of the year, Apple jumped to #2 with stellar sales in both developed and emerging markets over the last year, according to the latest report from the world’s leading brand consultancy, Interbrand. Social media giant, Facebook (#69), enters the report after making headlines as the third

largest IPO in US history, and Google (#4) experienced a 26% increase in brand value over the last year, exceeding rival Microsoft’s (#5) brand value for the first time in the history of Interbrand’s report. Interbrand, the world’s leading brand consultancy, publishes its Best Global Brands report of the world’s 100 most valuable brands on an annual basis. Interbrand’s methodology – the first of its kind to be ISO certified – analyzes the many ways a brand touches and

benefits an organization, from driving bottom-line business results to delivering on customer expectations. To develop its report, Interbrand examines the three key aspects that contribute to a brand’s value: the financial performance of the branded products or service, the role the brand plays in influencing consumer choice, the strength the brand has to command a premium price, or secure earnings for the company.

Repair Centre and they will have access to the required level of support that is mandatory for Apple Authorised Resellers. Apple Authorised Resellers include iConnect are at the Palms, Lekki in Lagos; Superior Equipment - The Orchard at the Civic Centre in Lagos; Cross Energy, Flag Place in Abuja; and iMEED Store, Rivers House, Central Business Area of Abuja. A new state-of-the-art Apple store is also expected to be open soon. Apple recently announced that over 15 billion apps have been downloaded from its revolutionary App store, by more than 200 million iPhone, iPad and iPod users around the world including Nigeria. Core Group Africa had been earlier appointed Apple’s Authorised Resellers to ensure the product is available through official channel partners. They are: iConnect; The Orchard; Meed Networks and Cross Energy Supply Authorised Resellers. Executive Director for Apple Core Group Africa, Rutger-Jan Van Spaandonk, earlier remarked that, “Nigerians are now able to say with confidence that their iPads have been bought through the official distribution channels.



Aviation unions accuse Oduah of destroying the industry By Ibrahim Kabiru Sule viation unions, the Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, (ATSSSAN), and the National Union of Air Transport Employees, (NUATE) have accused the minister of aviation of trying to destroy the aviation industry, adding that reforms being introduced by the minister threaten their members. In a press conference jointly organised by the two unions yesterday, they highlighted areas which the minister has failed to address, saying that if their threats are not heeded, “the Minister of Aviation shall be met with force within our scope, as we shall not fold our arms while this gross abuse of office, misconduct and irresponsible behavior continue.” The unions said: “As representatives of the workers in the sector, we view the current actions and utterances of the Minister of Aviation as a direct assault on the sensibilities and collective intelligence of the entire workers in our industry, an avoidable danger signal to the stability, sustenance and economic independence of the industry and a disservice to the transformation agenda of Mr. President.” ATTSSSAN and NUATE however described the planned automation of the aviation industry and the recent appointments in the agencies as some of the minister’s actions


L-R: Garrison Commander, 1 Div. Nigerian Army, Colonel Sani Audu, Chief Instructor, Nigerian Defence Academy, Navy Captain Kolawole Ojo, and Country Director, Empretec Nigeria Foundation, Mrs Onari Duke, during the entrepreneurship and managerial training for senior military officers, on Tuesday in Kaduna. Photo: NAN

BOA sets up N10bn entrepreneurial scheme By Aminu Imam


n order to create massive employment through the agricultural sector of the economy, officials of the Bank of Agriculture (BOA) have concluded plans to launch the Youths Agriculture Business Revolution in Nigeria, (YARN) with about N10 billion. The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the bank, Mohammed Santuraki, made this known at the bank’s head office in Kaduna recently, while receiving members of the House of Representatives Committee on Agriculture, led by its Vice-Chairman, Alhaji Manir Baba Dan-Agundi. Santuraki pointed out that

the bank would partner with state governments and other agencies that are interested to support the project, which is expected to create jobs for 10,000 youths yearly in the next five years. He told the committee members that about 10,000 women entrepreneurs would also be involved in the agriculture revolution, and their contributions are likely to create additional 100,000 jobs for Nigerians across the country. According to the BOA boss, the bank has granted N5 billion loans to small-scale farmers, this year while over N2 billion has been granted as loans to commercial farmers. He, however, noted that out

of the one billion naira budgetary allocation meant for the BOA this year, only N44 million was released to the bank at a period the bank ought to be up and doing for the nation in order to raise the productivity of farmers across the country. Santuraki also argued that the bank has outlined various schemes aimed at boosting agricultural production in Nigeria, foaod security and generate employment, stressing that such schemes include the two billion naira and ensuring livestock credit facility, mechanised agriculture scheme targeted at over 2000 farmers and agricultural companies loans scheme of which N30 billion is being earmarked.

FG committed to budget implementation - Minister By Muhammad Nasir


he Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chief Emeka Wogu, said his ministry and the Federal Government were committed to the “total” implementation of the 2012 budget. The minister stated this in Abuja on Tuesday at a session with the members of the House Committee on Labour Employment and Productivity who were on an oversight visit to the ministry. The committee, led by its chairman, Mr Essien Ayi, was told by the minister that his ministry’s budget performance was at 95 per cent going by the total appropriation released “The percentage performance for the Ministry, Departments and

Parastatals of the Ministry of Labour and Productivity as at today with respect to funds already accessed is 95.8 %. “The peculiar nature of this ministry is not lost because the ministry does not engage in many projects. However, with the little allocations, we have being able to go far. So, I will like to say that the executive is as desirous as the National Assembly to implement the 2012 appropriation as passed by the National Assembly budget to the fullest’’, he stated. Wogu urged the National Assembly to continue to support the Transformation Agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan and urged the committee to inspect the ministry’s projects. “Having come here, the committee will not be stopped from visiting the areas where we have

projects to look at the projects and see if what we have expended is in tandem with the money released”. Ayi told the minister that they were at the ministry because the leadership of the House had directed all committees to embark on oversight visit to MDAs under their jurisdiction. He explained that the visit was also to assess the level of the implementation of the 2012 budget and to ascertain the level of performance. Ayi commended the ministry and its parastatals for judicious use of funds released to them, saying that the ministry’s budget performance based on the release made so far had been tremendous. The committee members also visited the Nigerian Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF). (NAN)

which they are dissatisfied with. These changes, according to the unions, are capable of breeding corruption. However, in a press release signed by the SA on media to the minister, Joe Obi mentioned how the minister was able to transform the industry, from where it was when she came to office. The statement said, “When the Aviation Minister came into office last year, she met a sector in grossly decadent and nearcollapse state, both in terms of infrastructure, facilities, effective and efficient provision of services as well as morale and capacity of staff to deliver expected outcomes. It was obvious that nothing short of bold and incisive action could reverse the downward trend”. The statement further wondered how these aviation unions, who have been part of the repositioning of the industry, could come back to lay complaints, describing it as a mere “curious, incomprehensible and smacks of ulterior motives”. Obi further stated that “the Road Map and Master Plan which has been presented to the Nigerian public has various components. Amongst the components is the reconstruction and remodeling of the airports to give them immediate face-lift and more befitting ambience for passenger safety and comfort. Eleven airports were undertaken in the first phase, whose completion is currently at 95%.

RMRDC urges wealthy Nigerians to invest in energy sector


he Director-General, Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC), Prof. Peter Onwualu has urged wealthy Nigerians to invest in the energy sector in order to develop local resources for sustainable growth. Onwualu made the call on in Abuja on Tuesday at the national conference on the ‘Development of Raw Materials for Sustainable Power and Energy Supply in Nigeria.’ He said in his lecture entitled: “ Enhancing Local Content in the Power and Energy Sector for Sustainable Development’’, that investment in energy would spur rapid growth of the power sector. The Director-General said the conference was organised to create awareness on the availability of raw materials in the energy sector and proffer ways of developing them for sustainable the sector’s development. He added that the conference was also organised to promote locally-produced power and energy components and machineries and foster

interaction between the local manufacturers and users of the components. “The energy situation in Nigeria has given cause for concern in view of the close links between the sector and the rest of the economy on which Nigeria’s growth and development prospects largely depends on,’’ he said. Onwualu said the council had produced local content for a number of electrical units that could be developed locally. Earlier in his address, Mr Mustafa Shehu, the President, Nigeria Society of Engineers, said that human resource was crucial in the development of local content. Shehu stressed the need for the government to establish institutions and create curricula on power generation, transmission, distribution and marketing of power and energy. He noted that the development of steel and aluminum subsectors were fundamental in the development of power and energy sector. (NAN)




n what appears to be another explosive philanthropic gesture by a Nigerian, Habitay for Humanity Foundation (HHF), recently visited and doled out gift items to prisoners, the handicapped and orphans in selected area councils in the FCT and some neighbouring states. During the visits, truckloads of foodstuffs, including bags of garri, maize, rice, groundnut, and cartons of noodles, toilet soaps, were distributed to orphanages at Kuje and Bwari area councils in the FCT as well as Kuje, Suleja and Keffi prisons; others are schools for the handicapped and orphanages. The Foundation, a nongovernmental humanitarian organization, is owned by Alhaji Mohammed Bello Saidu, the Sardaunan Samaru Zazzau, and Madakin Sarkin Hausawa in Abuja, who is also accomplished business man. Concerned about the plight of these categories disadvantaged people in the society, he decided last week to put smiles on their faces. It was not going to be a one off thing, to be sure. The HHF founder asked the prison authorities to compile the names of prisoners whose sentences carried the fine option. He said he was ready to pay the fines for the inmates to regain their freedom. Also speaking at Suleja prison, peace ambassador Yohanna Margif said the National Peace Makers Initiative Forum and HHF were distressed by the pitiable conditions under which the prisoners lived, and that was why they had chosen to extend “a hand of charity” to them as they were doing to other less privileged Nigerians. He said they were visiting prisons to give inmates words of encouragement because “everybody is bound to make a mistake. Some people come


A philanthropist’s prison odyssey to bring succour to prisoners The condition in Nigerian prisons is worse than what you find in other countries, yet some prisoners who have finished serving their terms preferred to return to the ‘comfort’ of their cells instead of the hard life outside the bars where even law-abiding citizens eke out a living, under rain or shine. The reason is that ex-convicts face rejection by family members, friends and former business associates. However, there is a philanthropist who has placed finger on the problem and has set out to make life worth living for the ex-convict in the larger society. He is Alhaji Bello Saidu, founder of Habitay for Humanity Foundation (HHF), based in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja. Augustine Aminu and Stanley Onyekwere follow chronicle his philanthropic trajectory. out of prison and become presidents, governors, imams, pastors, etc. “The difference between here and outside is just because inmates are not privileged to go outside. Some Nigerians outside even experience harsher living conditions than you do.” On his part, Alhaji Ibrahim Nata’Allah, another member of the delegation, told the inmates, “The food is for your upkeep but not for you to go out of prison and return the next day because prison condition is better than homes outside.” He warned them not to lose both the world and heaven. “There is a reward for everything, so if you return home, throw away your bad ways and become good citizens.” Suleja prison officials who were publicity-shy only said, “We appreciate Alhaji Bello

Saidu and his humanitarian gesture.” Receiving a truckload of food items delivered to Keffi prison, Deputy Controller of Prisons Ibinumi Adekunle lamented the state of Nigerian prisons, saying Keffi prison has a capacity of 194 prisoners but has to accommodate do 584 inmates. He thanked Alhaji Bello Saidu, describing his project as “a noble cause,” but lamented that there are countless Nigerians richer than him but are not helping the less privileged of the society. He invoked Allah’s blessings upon the philanthropist. “We have found out why prisoners return after serving their terms; it is because they face rejection at home by family members and friends; they find it difficult to survive outside.” Ibinumi called on good Nigerians to accept those

Ambassador Yohana Margif presenting food items to Suleja prison on behalf of Habitay for Humanity Foundation

The delegation also visited an orphanage

whohave repented from their crimes back into the society. Addressing inmates and officials at Suleja prison, peace ambassador Margif said both partnering NGOs are “peace lovers” and their visit was to show the inmates that they cared about their condition. “A prison is a place where you meet a lot of people from different ethnic backgrounds. Here, there are Muslims and Christians as well as traditionalists. We understand that some of you came here because you could not pay your little fines”, he said. To make sure the inmates become properly reintegrated into the society, Margif disclosed the Foundation’s readiness to facilitate their

freedom and help them to learn trades which will make them useful in the society after they leave prison. “We cannot leave everything for government; presently we are not getting assistance from government or any individual and we are not ready to accept anything from anybody. We have prayed God to help us so that people should benefit from what we are doing,” he said. In addition to visiting prisons, the delegation extends a hand of fellowship to churches, mosques and hospitals; it builds roads and provides other social infrastructures in communities in need. According to the Foundation, it does not look at individuals’

faces before deciding who to assist. “We want to house humanity under one umbrella. We are not religious or political. Though we are legible to vote and be voted for, that is not on our agenda; political considerations are not in our character. We don’t want any political appointments,” said Margif. Speaking on behalf of the NGO at Keffi, the project coordinator, Alhaji Ibrahim Sadiq, who represented the chairman of the Foundation, said that the NGO was touched by the conditions in some prisons. Some inmates told our reporters they were in dire need of medical attention,

pledging never to a life of crime anytime they leave the prison. Narrating his story, an inmate, Muhammed Umar, said, “I am a driver by profession. Sometime ago I had an accident and I was brought here. Frankly, I intend to drive very carefully on the road after leaving here. Prison has taught me many lessons; it has taught me to be patient, to be prayerful and the like. I advise reckless drivers and people with criminal tendencies generally that crime does not pay. They should change their character to become useful to their society.” Another inmate, Dickson, said: “I had problem

with my customers whom I supplied tiles to. It was not the type of tiles the customer expected due to some unforeseen circumstances. I knew I was at fault. “Truly I thank God for Nigeria Prisons Service. This place has given reformation in the lives of many people. Before now a lot of people beloved that coming into prison was a total condemnation, but this view has changed. I came to realize that there is hope after here. I am not actually sentenced; I am in awaiting trial cell.” Another inmate, Abubakar Idris said, “I was convicted for crime relating to cattle business. I was accused and convicted of buying stolen cows. I have spent three weeks here. I was fined 11,000 naira only. I am 53 years old. I pity myself and the other inmates here. As I am here only God knows how my family is faring.” Another day of eventful humanitarian services took the Foundation to the FCT Universal Basic Education for the Handicap in Kuje. Receiving the foundation at the school, a class teacher, Mr. Adebisi Rufus, who represented Mrs. Victoria Agah at the event, expressed happiness to the foundation, calling on other Nigerians to follow suit. The effort of the NGO, Mrs. Agah said, was blessed by God because of its contribution to the upkeep of the physically challenged in the school. She prayed that the NGO would grow stronger and move from strength to strength owing to its determination to assist the lowly in the society. Some physically challenged students in the school used the opportunity afforded them during the visit to solicit government intervention on regular power supply to the

school. The NGO also visited other schools for handicap at Bwari. They were equally received by the principals of the school. The two schools received several bags of food items. Responding to questions on whether his generosity toward people is politically motivated, he maintained that he ventured into

philanthropic work because “Allah blesses givers, if their action could add value to fellow humans, whether they are Christian or Muslim.” To some, philanthropic services are normal ways of life while others view it as a way of contributing to humanity by making sure that people are made to live normal lives no matter the

Another inmate, Abubakar Idris said, “I was convicted for crime relating to cattle business. I was accused and convicted of buying stolen cows. I have spent three weeks here. I was fined 11,000 naira only. I am 53 years old. I pity myself and the other inmates here

conditions and circumstances they found themselves. The above mentioned mentality have been shared not only by some relatively few individuals or groups but also among some private groups and associations who believe that all humans were created by one God no matter the differences in the names they call Him, being it God or Allah, and should be treated equally by fellow humans, no matter the tribe, skin colour, tribe, political affiliation and even the religion. The registered group has impacted positively on some Nigerians whom through no fault of theirs, were not able to live normal life in their various places, including orphanage homes, concentration or refugee camps as well as those in the hospitals or prisons. No wonder the NGO took it upon itself the responsibility of visiting various places in which such individuals could be found in order to provide succour to them in those places. This group is often referred to in the society as the less privileged or the active poor. Nigeria is said to be blessed with so many resources both in human and material, yet a greater percentage of her citizens are walloping in abject poverty in the midst of plenty. But all hope may not be lost after all with more of journeys to these helpless and vulnerable groups in the society by philanthropists like Alhaji Bello Saidu’s foundation, to put smiles on their faces.

Alhaji Bello Saidu, in white, inspecting the items donated to Keffi prison



EMERGENCY UPDATE NEMA warns of more flooding, urges relocation


he Zonal Coordinator, Abuja office, of the National Emergency Agency (NEMA), Mr. Ishaya Chinoko, has warned of more flooding in parts of the country. Chinoko, who disclosed recently during a press

conference in Lokoja, the Kogi State capital, warned that there might be flooding resulting from the release of water from dams in Cameroon and Guinea. According to him, the anticipated flood is referred to as “black flood” and advised residents yet to

relocate from the banks of River Niger and River Benue to do so immediately. Chinoko also informed that over 400 communities in the state had been submerged by floods so far, adding that about 3, 647 people were rescued in Ibaji receive $25, 000 mitigation outreach contract from FEMA


EMA plans to award a $25,000 firm fixed price 12month contract to the National Emergency Management Association (NEMA), of Lexington, KY, to help develop an outreach program to local governments and communities which will help educate them about natural hazard risks and mitigation resources. “The lack of hazard mitigation awareness among local elected officials and citizens and the inability to find a local champion for hazard mitigation hinder communities from practicing mitigation and completing mitigation projects,” says a “justification and approval” document published online by FEMA on the 9th of October, 2012. NEMA will be expected to coordinate two meetings between October 2012 and September 2013 of the National Mitigation Collaborative Alliance, a forum for public and private sector groups, non-profit organizations and academia to address the importance of mitigating loss of life and property during a disaster. NEMA will also be asked to conduct quarterly conference calls, develop two presentations — one for state emergency management directors and the other for Alliance

members — and will develop five to 10 presentations to local governments and community organizations. “The Alliance will provide access to new stakeholder

groups that will provide better access to local communities and integrate them into our existing and longstanding stakeholder partnerships,” said the FEMA notice.

Area Council in the FCT before it was totally submerged by flood. The Zonal Coordinator said the devastating magnitude of the flooding prompted the agency to seek help from international organisations such the Red Cross and Red Crescent. He said: “about 40 relief camps have been established across the state to assist the victims.” He stated that the intervention of the agency and the Federal Government in supply of relief materials, camp management, search and rescue

mission and drugs assisted the state government in addressing its flood problems. Meanwhile, Commissioner for Information, Alhaji Yabagi Bologi, has said an information centre to monitor the flooding disaster in the state has been opened. In a statement on Wednesday by the Director of Information, Ministry of Information, Mr. James Adedoyin, the commissioner said the centre would serve as the clearing house for information seekers.

NEMA Zonal Coordinator presenting relief materials recently to Taraba SSG Eng. Emmanuel Njiwa and SA to Governor on emergency and boundary issues, Danjuma Mensah.

Again, NIMET raises alarm on violent winds after floods F

ollowing the recent devastating floods that ravaged some parts of the country, destroying lives and property worth millions of naira in the areas, the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) has again warned Nigerians to take precautions against violent winds that may occur during the dry season, due to the effects of climate change. The Director-General of NIMET, Dr Anthony Anuforom, who gave the warning in Abuja, in an interview with the journalists said that windy weather was expected during the dry season, following more heavy rains likely to lead to more floods between September and October. Anuforom also cautioned people not to stay under trees during the period. Anuforom said: “We are transiting now from rainy to dry season; the kinds of things we may experience are violent winds. Therefore, we advise people to avoid staying under trees. “The reason why we alert people is for them to know ahead of time and take necessary

precautions. We have no ability to protect against natural disasters but the ability to observe what the weather is and inform the people early. Part of the mandate of the Ministry of Aviation is safety and we as an agency under it have keyed into it. “He noted that forecasts by the agency, if strictly adhered to, could help save the situation, adding that any emergency situation could only surprise people unexpectedly if there were no early warnings. “If adequate disaster risk measures are taken, the number of deaths will decrease because people must have known what to expect,’’ Anuforom said. The NIMET chief said that the 2013 annual seasonal rainfall predictions bulletin on weather and climate would be released early to get people prepared and make use of it. NIMET had, on September 26, predicted more heavy rainstorms that may lead to serious flooding before October. As part of its mandate to prevent and mitigate disaster in Nigeria, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has

produced a disaster response manual to “proactively prepare for the disaster that may arise from the possible collapse” of Lake Nyos Dam in western Cameroun. The manual, which was endorsed yesterday at a signing ceremony by stakeholders in Abuja, is meant to enable people to put necessary measures in place to mitigate flood waters from the lake that is affecting the people of Benue State. The Director-General of the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, Alhaji Muhammed Sani-Sidi, said Lake Nyos is adjacent to Nigeria and that a 2005 UNDP report had predicted that the continuing erosion of the wall in Lake Nyos would put the dam at a point of potential collapse. Sani-Sidi, who was represented by NEMA’s director of administration and supply, Dr. Zanna Muhammed, said the report predicted that the walls of the dam might fall as a result of gradual erosion from rain, wind and lake water, or as a result of violent volcanic eruption, earthquake or tremor.

The DG explained that there is a possibility that the dam will break down within 10 years, adding that the eventual failure of the dam would result in the discharge of about 55 million cubic metres of water that would result in flooding downstream. He estimated that, between Cameroun border and River Benue, 50 settlements, including Katsina-Ala, Kashimbilla, Waya, Manga, Gamovo, Andie, Terwegh, and over 15,000 hectares of land will be flooded and that over one million people and 20,000 heads of cattle and other livestock will be affected and could perish. Sani-Sidi said that financial losses had been estimated to be in billions of naira, comprising crops, residential and commercial structures, utilities and infrastructure including roads and bridges. The DG said that, as part of NEMA’s mandate to prevent and mitigate disaster in Nigeria, the agency, in collaboration with Benue State Emergency Management Agency (BSEMA), held a two-day workshop on early warning and threat from Lake

Nyos in order to create awareness, to share experience and draw appropriate contingency plan to identify those at risk, and prepare for response and evacuation sites. He said the manual was developed by the agency and forwarded to the stakeholders for their input and it has culminated in the final manual which was being endorsed. “The manual is therefore apt, considering the various flood disasters affecting the country, and the content could be applied in different flood scenarios.” He said there is need for various ministries, departments and agencies to develop their standard operating procedures in this regard. He added, “It is important also to note that the manual is a living document and is subject to periodic review as the situation arises.” Stakeholders present at the ceremony include the army, police, civil defence corps, the Red Cross, representatives of the federal ministries of the environment, water resources, science and technology, agriculture and transport as well as the FRSC.



EMERGENCY UPDATE YOUTHS FOR Oguta flood: Senator seeks PUBLIC SAFETY urgent intervention of NEMA By Abubakar Jimoh


enator Chris Anyanwu, representing Imo West constituency has appealed to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to come to the rescue of the people of Oguta whose area has been ravaged by flood disaster. Anyanwu, who made the appeal during an over sight visit to the area, expressed regret that flooding in the state had not received adequate attention and publicity from both the Federal Government and the national media. She also called on both NEMA and the Imo government to come to the rescue of the victims, especially the people of Eziozu community, by providing them with a temporary accommodation. “The state government should play its part by bringing the attention of the Federal Government to the flood in Imo. The Federal Government should not neglect Imo but include it as one of the disaster areas,” she said and attributed the flooding to the link between River Niger and

Oguta Lake, stressing the need for the proper dredging of River Niger. “Because of the connection between Oguta Lake and River Niger, one should only expect that what happened in River Niger will possibly rub off on the lake. “There is the need for the proper dredging of River Niger for the water to have a clear course. Dredging helps prevent the water from overflowing its course. The senator advised the flood victims to stay away from the flooded area as the water was still surging into the area. You have to be wise. Being wise is to get away from danger. We should not take nature for granted. We have to take adequate precaution to get out of danger areas,” she said. Some of the victims who spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) lamented their experiences with the flood. A trader, Mrs Florence Ojiako, and Mr Andrew Fidelis, both indigenes of Eziozu, said their families had been sacked by the flood.

Ojiako said she had never experienced such flood and called on both the federal and state governments to come to their aid. “We are stranded. We want the government to assist us. What we want is action. We are part of the government,” she said. Farms, buildings and other property worth millions of naira were submerged by the flood while many of the residents had been sacked from their homes. Meanwhile, Anyanwu called on the Imo government to support the Nigerian Navy in its determination to open a seaport on Oguta Lake. She described the lake as a strategic position for Nigeria to develop more seaports for economic growth. “We are here to assess this area to know the suitable area to locate a seaport. Oguta has a connection with Ndoni in Rivers. Also from Lagos, ships loaded with goods can be shifted to Oguta. “Once the navy is positioned here, you have activity and security. Where there is no security, there is no development,’’ she said. (NAN)

handle issues related to the flood disaster and urged the Utuama committee to swing into action before the situation worsened. The NNU President-General lamented that scores of displaced farmers in Ndokwa East Local Government Area of Delta were seeking refuge in the upland of Ashaka and Utagba-Ogbe, Kwale towns following the washing away of their communities, farmlands, fish ponds and crops by flood. Communities most affected along the River Niger are, Aballa-Oshimili, Utchi Communities of (Okwumedo, Umuochi, Owelle, Obalu, Oboma and Obeche), Okpai communities of Oluchi, Umuagulu, Obeze, Asaba Okpai, Beneku,

Abalagada, Aboh, Abuato, Ugbene, Agwe-Iyom, Ise-Onokpo, Onuobiuku, Umu-Ugbome, Umu-Uti, Afiankwo, Umuolu, Adiai, Utuoku, Oworubia, WariIrri, and Onyah. Enebeli said yams, cassava, plantain, vegetables, garden eggs and pepper among other crops were completely destroyed while the entire Aboh town, the local government area headquarters, Utchi, Aballa Oshimili, Okpai, Inyi, Onoaboh, Ase may soon go under water as the markets in the communities have already been submerged, adding that unless there was urgent response from the federal and state governments there could be famine in Ndokwa land, a major food basket in Delta State.

Delta community seeks FG, Delta Intervention on flood


dokwa National Union (NNU) has called on the Federal and Delta State governments to come to the rescue of victims of the flood disaster in Ndokwa and environs. President-General of NNU, Mr. Paul Osogbe Enebeli, at a briefing after inspecting some of the affected areas particularly called on the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, and the State Emergency Relief Agency, SERA, to urgently send relief materials such as food, clothing, beddings, medicine to the victims. Enebeli commended Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan for taking immediate action with the setting up of a committee headed by the Deputy Governor, Prof. Amos Utuama (SAN), to

NEMA set-up 3 Internally Displaced Persons Camps in Bayelsa


he National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has set up three camps for the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa capital. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the NEMA South-South Zonal Coordinator, Mr Emenike Umesi, disclosed this recently at a press briefing at the Igbogene camp. “NEMA has been here for the past two weeks. We have been able to assess most of the areas that are flooded. We have also moved in relief items after the initial rapid assessment.

“We have been able to set up tents as part of the strategies to accommodate those that are caught up in the flood. “We are presently working with the state government. We are using our own technical expertise to set up the tents for them.” Umesi said that NEMA would increase its intervention in view of the number of those affected by the disaster. He confirmed that six out of the eight local government areas in the state were affected by the flooding. The coordinator said NEMA

would provide food and other relief items as well as provide of electricity, water and medication, in addition to security. He said basic food items such as rice, beans, garri and oil as well as mattresses, mats, soaps, blankets would be provided. NAN reports that the worsthit local government areas are Sagbama, Ekeremor, Yenagoa, Ogbia, Southern-Ijaw and Kolokuma/Opokuma. The three camps are located at the Samson Siasia Stadium, Bishop Dimeari Grammar School (BDGS) and Igbogene. (NAN)

Breast cancer: Averting the killer disease (1)


he growing cases of cancer, especially breast cancer in Nigeria have not only grasped the attention of the governments, but individuals and relevant stakeholders who helplessly are yeaning for reliable contraceptives that will tame the killer disease. This is in tandem with the shocking data made available by the Ibadan Cancer Registry (ICR), revealing the rapid increase in the rate of breast cancer cases in the last five decades in the country. Breast cancer has been described as the commonest type of cancer found in women, with its tentacle spread beyond status and class in the present day society. The deadly disease, which nevertheless has reportedly killed more women in recent time, has been traced by experts to a malignant (cancer) tumor that emanates from cells of the breast. Regrettably, the study conducted by the Registry has further showed that breast cancer accounted for 6% of the commonest cancers recorded during 1960-1980, 14.8% between 1980 and 1985; within the cancers of the female, breast cancer maintained the trend rising from 11.2% to 25.7% during 1960-1980 and 1980-1985 periods respectively. Besides, no less than 1, 100 women between ages of 17 and 85 were diagnosed of breast cancer since 1995; while over 10,000 cases of breast cancer were recorded in 2005. Similarly, it is estimated that the number of women with breast cancer in Nigeria doubles annually, resulting in over 400, 000 deaths annually and about 4.4 million women living with the disease. Besides, the observation of medical experts has indicated that 42 million Nigerians will have cancer in 2020, parts of which breast cancer would intensify owing to its growing rate among women. However, in the findings of medical experts around the world, two types of breast cancer have been identified; these are Ductal carcinoma cancer and Lobular carcinoma cancer. The former, according to their results, is the commonest which starts in the tubes that move milk from the breast to the nipple; while the later starts in the part of the breast called lobules that produce milk. Both types of breast cancer could either be categorised as invasive or noninvasive. Breast cancer is termed invasive when it has spread from the milk duct to other tissues in the breast while noninvasive when the ailment has not yet invaded other breast tissues. With the decrease in cases of breast cancer in other parts of the world, it is not the same in the sub-Saharan Africa, where Nigeria takes the lead, owing to her population, level of poverty among the people, lack of awareness, shortage of man power for treatment and palliative care,

shortage of drugs and lack of proper education resulting to the yearly growth in rate of breast cancers in the country. Other causes of this dreaded disease include hereditary phenomenon; in the sense that, it is a disease that runs through family genes across generations and defective gene passes from a parent to the child; and individuals’ lifestyle in terms of food in-takes by women especially carcinogen substances. In the early detection of breast cancer, some basic symptoms have been observed by the medical experts to include hard breast lump or lump in the armpit; unusual change in the size, shape, or feel of the breast or nipple; fluids coming out of the nipple, which may be bloody, yellowish, green; bone pain, breast pain or body discomfort, skin ulcers, weight loss and swelling of one arm could be a sign of breast cancer. Meanwhile, in effort to tackle the accelerating cases of the breast cancer, many recommendations have been made by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Federal Ministry of Health, World Health Organisation (WHO) and the global medical experts. As parts of these, women are advised to moderate their level of food intake, sugar, and blood tonic, especially those containing folic acid. Observing this measure will help to break down the rate of cancer growth in their system. In addition to the above precautions, other proactive measures for cancer prevention have been provided in the Dietary Guidelines of American Cancer Society’s. There is the need for women to choose food and portion sizes that promotes healthy weight, take whole grains instead of refined grain products, eat five or more servings of fruits and vegetables each day, limit processed and red meat in the diet, limit or avoid alcohol consumption. They must limit their level of struggle and take adequate relaxation, as stress triggers cancer in human body. As early detection has been regarded as the best approach in battling breast cancer, governments at various levels must strengthen their sensitization campaign to the general public, most especially Nigerian women on regular medical checkup to fortify instant detection of breast cancer. Another preventive-proven measure recommended by the world medical experts against breast cancer is adequate medication of hormonal therapy prescribed to women with ER-positive breast cancer to block certain hormones that fuel cancer growth. Example of this is the drug tamoxifen used to block the effects of estrogen, which can help breast cancer cells survive and grow. Most women with estrogen-sensitive breast cancer are reported to have been effectively benefited from this drug.



Mining: Cadastre office urges indigenous companies to explore opportunities By Mohammed Kandi


he Director-General of the Nigerian Mining Cadastre Office, Mohammed Amete, yesterday challenged the country’s indigenous companies and those involved in individual businesses to exploit myriad of prospects in Nigeria’s mining sector. Amete, who expressed optimism that the sector could turn around the economic fortune of the country if properly harnessed, informed our reporter that there was greater economic potentials that could substitute for the oil and gas sectors of the economy. According to him, mining sector across the world had been huge revenue base for various economies, adding that, “Australia government depend on its mining sector for over 95% of income, while Chile in the north America also depend largely on Copper as means of

revenue base.” The D-G, who raises alarm over the influx of foreign investor that have indicated interest in Nigeria’s mining sector, however, assured Nigerians of availability of high-quality mining locations, secures laws governing the sector and resilient licenses for business. He also guaranteed flexibility and steadfastness in service delivery of his office noting that “the Mining Cadastre Office shall within 30 days of the receipt of application from any qualified applicant and upon the payment of the prescribed fees and grant issue a Reconnaissance Permit search for minerals. The Permit, according to Amete, would enable holders undertake reconnaissance on a non-exclusive basis, and however warned that, it does not authorise for drilling, excavation and other sub-

surface techniques, while ensuring environmental and social responsibility issues are considered. On the heightened cases of illegal mining in parts of the country, Amate regrets the incident, but said a unit in his office was already taking care of

the problem saying, “When we identify those involved in illegal mining, we organize them into cooperatives after which they are issued licenses within 45 days, the process which used to last for two years.” Meanwhile, on license revocations, the D-G said “it is

difficult to lose license under the current system but one could lose his license by failing to pay annual service grant or by failing to make use of the license. Under these situations we will issue a 30 days ultimatum and then afterwards enforce our regulations.”

FLood: 3 dead in communities in Rivers


hree persons have been confirmed dead as floods submerged eight communities in the Abua/Odua Local Government Area of Rivers State. Chairman of the Local Government Council, Mr Udi Odum, who confirmed the information in Abua, said the floods occurred following the overflow of Orashi River. Odum told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the floods which began in mid-September had not receded, adding that such floods had not occurred in the area for a long time. He said the affected communities were Adada, Emesu, Emelego, Akani, Obrany, Kalaibiama, Ogbema I and Ogbema II. “Apart from loss of lives and property, farmlands have also been swept away by the rampaging floods. I can tell you that more than 85 per cent of our people are farmers, and their only means of livelihood has been destroyed.’’ the chairman said. Odum said the flood destroyed crops, such as banana, plantain, yam, cassava and garden egg, as well as fish ponds. “The level of devastation is really beyond what the council can handle. We are appealing to the state and federal governments to come to our aid because our people affected by the floods have been displaced and need urgent assistance,’’ he said. Odum said that the council would donate relief materials to the victims before assistance from the federal or state government could come. “As a council, we will see what we can do to assist our people. In

the interim, we have told residents of coastal areas to vacate their homes because the floods are still coming,’’ he said. Chief Ipeghan Edum, the traditional ruler of Ogbema II, told NAN that residents of the community had left because of the floods. “We are appealing to the government to come to our aid because we are really suffering. For now, we need food, medicine and other things that will give us succour,’’ he said. (NAN)

L-R: Chief Operating Officer, Peoples Media Limited, Mr. Ali M. Ali, presenting copies of Peoples Daily newspaper to Director General, Nigerian Mining Cadastre Office, Engineer Mohammed Amate, during a visit by the management media house to the Director General, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-Owo

Regulators, community inspect Ibeno oil spill site in A/Ibom


fficials of Department of Petroleum Resources and Ibeno community in Akwa Ibom have began the inspection of coastline impacted by the August oil spill. Chief Okon Akpanowong, a community leader in Ibeno, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the team comprised representatives of regulators, the community and Mobil. “It is a joint investigation by the parties regarding the oil

spill that happened here recently in August. National Oil Spills Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), Department of Petroleum Resources and State Ministry of environment are all part of this. “The findings will determine the next line of action with regard to the spill,” Akpanowong said. NAN learnt that the visit was to see the clean-up of the

Atlantic coastline impacted by the oil spill at the Qua Iboe oil fields. Mobil Producing Nigeria (MPN), a unit of U.S. energy firm, ExxonMobil, reported an oil spill within its operational area in August but stated that the source was unknown. The oil firm and NOSDRA had since commenced a probe to unravel the source and cause of the spill. NOSDRA had directed Mobil,

operators of the Qua Iboe oil field, to assume responsibility for the clean-up pending results of finger print tests to ascertain the source of the spill. Mr Irvin Obot, Zonal Director of NOSDRA, told NAN on Wednesday, last week, that the agency was making progress on the investigations. Mobil began the clean-up by engaging 60 youths from its host community in Ibeno, Southern Akwa Ibom. (NAN)

Flood victims relocates to sports centre in Yenagoa


housands of flood victims in Bayelsa State on Tuesday besieged Samson Siasia Sports Complex in Yenagoa to seek refuge. The complex is one of the temporary resettlement camps set up by the Bayelsa Government to accommodate victims. Two other camps recently set up by the government are located at Igbogene community and Bishop Dimeri Grammar School in Ovom, Yenagoa.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the indoor sports hall of the stadium complex was filled by victims as families struggled for space to spread mattresses on available spaces. The victims carried household property, including electronics and clothes in sacks. Tom Inakpo, a wrestler with Bayelsa State Sports Council, told NAN that the arrival of the victims had affected training of the athletes. “Since the arrival of the flood

victims, wrestlers and other athletes that use this hall cannot make use of it again. “You can see for yourself they have taken over every space inside the hall, we feel for them,” Inakpo said. He said that wrestlers and other athletes, such as boxers and chess players, used the hall for training to keep fit and prepare for competitions. However, footballers trained at the main bowl of the football pitch and some of the victims

cheered them. Some victims said that many of their relations were still trapped in the communities, while most of their property had been destroyed by flood. An official of the Red Cross Society, Chief Igwe Napoleon, told NAN that 1,824 flood victims were registered in the camp on Monday. Napoleon, who is the state secretary of the society, said the figure had increased geometrically on Tuesday. (NAN)


Kwara releases N25m to flood victims


he Kwara State Government has released N25 million to flood victims in the state to assist them recuperate over their losses to the disaster. In a statement issued in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital by Mr Dauda Nurudeen, the Chief Press Sectary to the Secretary to the State Government, Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed approved the release of the funds. The statement said the amount was to provide immediate succour to the victims over the unfortunate incident. It would be recalled that floods affected many communities on river banks in Shonga and Patigi communities in the Edu and Patigi local government areas of the state, displacing many people and submerging hectares of farmland. (NAN)


Minister extols NESREA, tasks citizens on environmental sanitation By Mohammed Kandi


he Minister of Environment, Hadiza Ibrahim Mailafia, has commended the National Environmental Standards Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) for presenting additional new sets of laws that would enhance environmental cleanliness in the country. Mailafia spoke yesterday, at the 2012 Federal/State Regulatory Dialogue on the Implementation and Operationalisation of Environmental Regulations and the Review of New Regulations in

Abuja. She recalled that NESREA had recently also presented 24 document consisting of various environmental regulations that have been published in the Nigeria’s gazette. According to her, “I am pleased to recall that since 2007, NESREA has recorded some landmark achievements,” adding that, “today, the Agency is presenting National Environmental (quarrying and blasting species) Regulations, 2012; National Environmental (Pulp and Paper, Wood and Wood Products) Regulations, 2012.” “National Environmental

(Motor Vehicle Assembly and Miscellaneous Assembly) Regulations, 2012, and National Environmental (Alien and Invasive Species) Regulations, 2012,” she explained. The minister, however, stated that the dialogue was to promote compliance and enforcement programmes that would enhance healthy environment across the country, saying “I am impressed by the demonstration of the cooperation between Federal and State regulatory Agencies in the environment sector as reflected in the dialogue.” On environmental

‘Kogi has come to terms with flood damage’

Association wants A'Ibom govt to protect its forests



he Deputy Governor, Kogi State, Mr Yomi Awoniyi, has said that the state has now come to terms with the reality of the level of damage done to it by the flood. This is contained in a statement issued by his Press Secretary, Mr Michael Abu, in Lokoja, the Kogi State capital, saying that the process of rebuilding the washed-away roads, providing nets, fishing boats among other items to enable the displaced persons to resettle after the flood remained enormous was necessary. According to him, Ibaji Local Government Area has been completely cut off from the other parts of the state. The deputy governor, however, said schools closed in the local government would be reopened soonest because education remained the priority of this administration. Awoniyi promised the displaced persons more relief materials, adding that government was resolute in ameliorating the suffering faced by those affected by the floods. Earlier in his speech, Mr David Ogu, the acting Chairman, Ibaji Local Government, said the entire council area, which was completely submerged, had 21 relief camps with 35,000 persons displaced. He described the damage done to the area, with a 280,000 population, as monumental and appealed to government and individuals in the state to come to their aid. (NAN)

governance, Mailafia said “As citizens of this country, we have a key role to play to promoting environmental governance and in ensuring a cleaner and healthier environment.” In her remarks, the DirectorGeneral of NEAREA, Dr. Ngeri Benabo, “NESREA is an Agency of the Federal Ministry of Environment that has the responsibility for ensuring all environmental laws, guidelines, standards and regulations in Nigeria.” The Agency, she said, would also enforce compliance which is in line with the International agreements, adding that “our vision include ensuring a cleaner and healthier environment for Nigerians.” “The Regulatory Dialogue is an annual event, a product of the success story of the partnership between the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Federal Government of Nigeria,” she stressed.

Health workers association organises sanitation during their sanitation week recently in Abuja suburb.

Architects can tackle ecological problems –Association


he Association of Architectural Educators in Nigeria (AARCHES) has advised the federal and state governments to always engage architects in urban design to avoid ecological problems arising from climate change. The advice is contained in a communiqué issued at the end of the three-day Biennial General Meeting of the association, held at University of Jos. "Government should create consultancy services for architects in urban design so that such professionals can solve ecological problems arising from climate change. "The architects are in the best position to advice government and suggest ways out of incessantly changing climatic conditions,'' the communiqué stated. It called for the upward review of funding of architecture schools to enable them to give the students the best education that would equip them to face the challenges in the construction industry. The architectural educators, however, appreciated efforts by the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) for ensuring

adequate funding for the publication of AARCHES journals in a timely and periodic manner. "The good working relationship between AARCHES, Architects Registration Council of Nigeria (ARCON), Nigerian Institute Architects (NIA) and the National Universities Commission (NUC) is notable and should be encouraged. "We also commend the current leadership of ARCON for the proactive position it has taken in the advancement of architectural education,'' the architects said. The conference with the theme, ``Beyond 50 years of Nigeria: Development of Architectural Education'', witnessed paper presentations from scholars in the field of architecture on different issues. In a lead paper, Prof. Zanzan Uji of the Department Architecture, University of Jos, said that architecture was a creative discipline imbued with vast potential. "But of all the core professional disciplines in Nigeria, such as engineering, medicine, veterinary medicine, pharmacy, law and architecture, only architecture still remains an

appendage of other disciplines in its training. "The other professions have for long operated as independent units of training, either as faculties, schools or colleges. "This has resulted in phenomenal expansion and growth within those disciplines culminating into several areas of specialisation emanating from those disciplines. Architecture does not have such grace,'' he said. Uji's paper was entitled, ``Establishment of faculties/ colleges of architecture in Nigerian institutions of higher learning; the Role of ARCON as a Regulatory Body''. Prof. N.A. Anigbogu, in another paper, ``Leapfrogging, Tunnelling through and Overcoming: Meeting the Needs of Construction Education in Nigeria'', stressed the importance of university education and its impact on the construction industry. Anigbogu listed obstacles to education in the construction industry to include underfunding and explosion of student population in limited space. (NAN)

hairman of Forestry Association of Nigeria (FAN) in Akwa Ibom, Prof. Enefiok Udo, has called on the state government to invest more in forestry to check deforestation. In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Uyo, Udo suggested the strengthening of state ministry of environment to enable it to plant trees across the state. He said that the 318 sq km forest reserve in the state had been depleted to 302 sq km as of 1994. By today, it has drastically reduced to ignoble state because nothing was being done to check the erosion of the forests by oil exploration and other encroachment activities", he said. “We used to have forests, although not as large as Cross River's but gradually, we have been losing these because of encroachment and oil prospecting activities. “Part of the forests has been used up by some local government councils like Ibeno and Esit Eket and, so we are gradually losing that reserve. “It is a bad situation, because as you know, when you have trees, they help to check some challenges like flooding, erosion and environmental degradation". He added that trees also help to conserve water, stating that “if you remove trees around a river, you expose the river to a lot of damage as has been done in many cases, including the current flood incident in the country''. Udo appealed to government and individuals to protect the forests from being completely destroyed. (NAN)




US PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION 2012 Obama’s Big Bird campaign advert causes a flap

ig Bird, the tall yellow Muppet beloved by children across the world, has become a key figure in the US presidential campaign, and is featuring in a new advertisement issued by US President Barack Obama. Obama on Tuesday put out a commercial mocking his opponent, Mitt Romney, for saying he would cut funding for PBS, the public broadcaster behind the TV show Sesame Street, in which Big Bird appears. “Romney knows it’s not Wall Street you have to worry about, it’s Sesame Street,” the Obama ad said, jokingly describing Big Bird as the “evil genius” towering over financial felons like Ken Lay and Bernie Madoff. “Mitt Romney. Taking on our enemies, no matter where they nest,” the announcer of the commercial says, pressing home Obama’s contention that Romney, a former venture capitalist, would let Wall Street run wild. Analysts have said that cutting the million of dollars a year that the broadcaster receives from Congress will do little to help tackle the country’s $15 trillion debt. Romney responded by feigning puzzlement about why Obama would dwell on such a triviality four weeks

before election day. “These are tough times, with real serious issues. So you have to scratch your head when the president spends the last week talking about saving Big Bird,” Romney said at a rally in Iowa. Romney said in a debate in Denver last week that “I like PBS. I like Big Bird,” but nevertheless pledged to cut the subsidy for the station as part of spending reductions he plans if he is elected president in November. Obama did not pick up on the comment during his highly criticised debate performance, but has since made Big Bird, who has helped many children in the US and around the world to read, as a feature of his stump speech. Jen Psaki, the president’s spokeswoman, told reporters aboard Air Force One on Tuesday: “There is only one candidate in this race who is going to fight for Big Bird and Elmo and he is riding on this plane.” Psaki also made what the Obama

campaign sees as a serious point about Romney’s failure to provide concrete examples in the debate about what he would do to trim the budget deficit. “When Mitt Romney was given the opportunity to lay out how he would address the deficit ... his first offering was to cut the funding for Big Bird,” she said. Sesame Workshop, the maker of Sesame Street, said meanwhile it was a non-partisan, non-profit organisations, and has asked that the ad, which features footage of Big Bird, be removed. “We do not endorse candidates or participate in political campaigns,” the organisation said in a statement. “We have approved no campaign ads, and as is our general practice, have requested that the ad be taken down.” Psaki said the Obama campaign had received the request and was reviewing its options on the commercial, which is running on national cable stations.

Big bird of Sesame street.

Presidential race now a dogfight as Romney surges


he presidential race had seemed on the verge of slipping from Republican Mitt Romney’s grasp a week ago, but now he has erased President Barack Obama’s once-substantial lead in polls and made the race for the White House highly competitive once more. In a clear shift four weeks before Election Day on November 6, a new round of opinion polls showed essentially a dead heat after a strong debate performance by Romney last week. A Reuters/Ipsos daily tracking poll on Tuesday found Obama and Romney tied among likely voters at 45 percent each, ending a month during which Obama led the survey. Other polls also reflected the Romney surge. He led by 2 percentage points in Gallup’s daily tracking poll and 4 points in a Pew Research Center poll. Romney sounded confident at a rally attended by an estimated 12,000 people on a cool autumn evening in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, telling them he had been watching some of Obama’s rallies and heard the president’s supporters chanting “four more years.” “I think the right chant for them ought to be “four more weeks, four more weeks,” Romney said. The crowd picked up on it and chanted “four more weeks,” repeating it occasionally throughout his stump speech. “Ohio is going to elect me the next president of the United States,” Romney said. Strategists say Obama still holds an advantage in the handful of contested states that will decide the election, but there were signs that Romney may be able to expand the battlefield to states that had been considered beyond his reach. Pennsylvania and Michigan -

regarded until this week as sure bets for Obama - suddenly do not look so safe for him as several polls showed his lead in both states shrinking to 3 percentage points. A victory in either of those states would multiply Romney’s possible pathways to victory and reduce his need to carry make-orbreak states like Virginia or Florida. Both campaigns downplayed the significance of the polls and said they have always believed the race would be close. In one of the most important swing states, Obama urged supporters to register to vote and to get to the

Mitt Romney

polls. “I need you fired up, I need you ready to go vote. Because we’ve got some work to do. We’ve got an election to win,” he told some 15,000 people at a rally at Ohio State University. A CNN poll showed Obama’s lead tightening in Ohio to 4 points. No Republican has won the presidency without also taking the Midwestern state. The plethora of poll results more accurately reflect the dynamic of a closely divided electorate and a lackluster economy, said Ipsos pollster Cliff Young. Obama’s earlier wide lead likely would have narrowed

regardless of last week’s debate. “Things are probably back to where they should be. This is a race where Romney should be up sometimes,” Young said. In an embarrassment for Democrats, the creators of Big Bird asked the Obama campaign to scrap an anti-Romney ad featuring the popular TV children’s character. Obama’s team had used Big Bird to attack Romney for vowing during the debate to cut funding for public television, but is now considering the request to pull the ad. Romney said the flap showed Obama was not taking his duties

seriously. “These are tough times with real serious issues, so you have to scratch your head when the president spends the last week talking about saving Big Bird,” he said in Iowa. With early voting already taking place in some form in 40 states, Obama is trying to mobilize the coalition of minorities, women and younger voters that powered him to victory in 2008. However, his supporters have grown increasingly distraught in recent days as Obama has largely stayed out of the public eye after his lackluster debate performance. “I’ve never seen a candidate self-destruct for no external reason this late in a campaign before,” pundit Andrew Sullivan wrote in The Daily Beast. Romney’s speech on foreign policy on Monday is likely to be followed by other policy addresses that lay out his views broadly for those who are only now paying attention to the election, aides said. The former Massachusetts governor is showing a softer, more personal side on the campaign trail which seems to be working for him. At a rally in Van Meter, Iowa, he told a story of meeting a young man at a Christmas party who turned out to be one of the former Navy SEALs who died in an attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya last month. “It touched me, obviously, as I recognized that this young man that I felt was so impressive had lost his life in the service of his fellow men and women,” Romney said. “This is the American way. We go where there’s trouble. We go where we’re needed. And right now we’re needed. Right now the American people need us,” he said.



US corn ethanol fuels food crisis in developing countries ANALYSIS By Timothy A Wise


ecord drought in the US farm belt this summer withered corn fields and parched hopes for a record US corn harvest, but US farmers may not be the ones most severely affected by the disaster. Most have insurance against crop failure. Not so the world's importdependent developing countries, nor their poorest consumers. They are hurting. This is the third food price spike in the last five years, and this time the finger is being pointed squarely at biofuels. More specifically, the loss of a quarter or more of the projected US corn harvest has prompted urgent calls for reform in that country's corn ethanol programme. Domestically, livestock producers dependent on corn for feed have led demands for change in the US Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), which mandates that a rising volume of fuel come from renewable sources. Up to now that has been overwhelmingly corn-based ethanol. In November, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will rule on a request for a waiver of the RFS mandate to reduce pressures on US corn supplies. But US livestock producers aren't the only ones affected by shortages and high prices. The most devastating impact is on the poor in developing countries, who often use more than half their incomes to buy food. It also hurts low-income developing countries dependent on corn imports. As I showed in my recent study, "The Costs to Developing Countries of US Ethanol Expansion", the US ethanol programme pushed up corn prices by up to 21 per cent as it expanded to consume 40 per cent of the US harvest. This price premium was passed on to corn importers, adding an estimated $11.6bn to the import bills of the world's cornimporting countries since 2005. More than half of that - $6.6bn - was paid by developing countries between 2005 and 2010. The highest cost was borne by the biggest corn importers. Mexico paid $1.1bnmore for its corn, Egypt $727m. Besides Egypt, North African countries saw particularly high ethanol-related losses: Algeria ($329m), Morocco ($236m), Tunisia ($99m) and Libya ($68m). Impacts were also high in other strife-torn countries in the region - Syria ($242m), Iran ($492m) and Yemen ($58m). North Africa impacts totalled $1.4bn. Scaled to population size, these economic losses were at least as severe as those seen in Mexico. The link between high food prices and unrest in the region is by now well documented, and US ethanol is contributing to that instability. The debate over biofuels has grown urgent since food prices first spiked in 2007-2008, ushering in a food crisis characterised by repeated jumps in global food prices. Prices for most staple foods doubled, fell when the bubble burst in 2009, then jumped again to their previous high levels in 2010-2011.

Combined harvester at a US farm After a brief respite in the first half of this year, the US drought triggered a new wave of price spikes, the third in just five years. Corn prices were particularly hard-hit, reaching record levels of more than $8.00/ bushel, and more than $300 per metric tonne. Before the first spikes, prices had languished around $100/ metric tonne. Experts have debated how much of the price increases should be blamed on global biofuels expansion. Few argue now that the contribution is small. A US National Academy of Sciences review attributed 20-40 per cent of the 2007-2008 price spikes to global biofuels expansion. Subsequent studies have confirmed this range for the later price increases. Why is the impact so large? Because so much food and feed is now diverted to produce fuel, and so much land is now used for biofuels feedstocks - corn and sugar for ethanol, soybeans, palm oil and a variety of other plants for biodiesel. This rapidly growing market was fuelled by a wide range of government incentives and mandates and by the rising price of petroleum. Nowhere is the impact clearer than in the diversion of US corn into ethanol production. Ethanol now consumes roughly 40 per cent of the US corn crop, up from just 5 per cent a decade ago. The biggest jump came after the US Congress enacted the RFS in 2005 then expanded it dramatically in 2007.

A blending allowance of 10 per cent for domestic gasoline added to the demand, a level now potentially being raised to 15 per cent. These mandates for rising corn ethanol production combined with tax incentives to gasoline blenders and tariff protection against cheaper imports to create today's massive ethanol demand for corn. As corn prices rose farmers increased production, but not enough to accommodate the increased ethanol demand. So prices just kept rising and corn stocks just kept getting thinner and thinner. They were at dangerously low levels - about 15 per cent of global use when the first price spikes happened in 2007-2008. They are at 14 per cent now. Corn is probably the most problematic feedstock for biofuels. In many parts of the world it is grown as food for human consumption, serving as the staple grain for some one billion people worldwide. It is also a key feed for livestock, giving it another direct link to the human food supply through meat, dairy and egg prices. US corn ethanol is particularly disruptive to international markets. The United States is by far the largest producer and exporter of corn in the world. That 40 per cent of the US corn crop being put into US cars represents an astonishing 15 per cent of global corn production. The diversion of so much corn from


food and feed markets has produced a "demand shock" in international markets since 2004. For our study of the impacts on corn importers, we relied on estimates of how much lower corn prices would have been if ethanol production had not grown past its 2004 levels. The impacts rose with ethanol demand, reaching an estimated 21 per cent in 2009. We took those annual estimates and calculated the added cost each year, 2005-10, to the world's net cornimporting countries based on their net import volumes. The largest importer by far is Japan and the ethanol premium cost Japan an estimated $2.2bn. But our interest was developing countries because of their vulnerability to food price increases. Over the last 50 years, and particularly since the 1980s, the world's least developed countries have gone from being small net exporters of agricultural goods to huge net importers. The shift came when structural reforms in the 1980s forced indebted developing country governments to open their economies to agricultural imports while reducing their support for domestic farmers. The result: a flood of cheap and often-subsidised imports from rich countries, forcing local farmers out of business and off the land. In the price spike of 2008, the

Nowhere is the impact clearer than in the diversion of US corn into ethanol production. Ethanol now consumes roughly 40 per cent of the US corn crop, up from just 5 per cent a decade ago. The biggest jump came after the US Congress enacted the RFS in 2005 then expanded it dramatically in 2007.

world's least developed countries imported $26.6bn in agricultural goods and exported only $9.1bn, leaving an agricultural trade deficit for these overwhelmingly agricultural countries of $17.5bn, more than three times the deficit recorded in 2000 ($4.9bn). This squeezes government budgets, strains limited foreign exchange reserves and leaves the poor more exposed to food price increases. Guatemala, for example, saw its import dependence in corn grow from 9 per cent in the early 1990s to around 40 per cent today. This in a corn-producing country, the birthplace of domesticated corn. According to our estimates, Guatemala saw $91bn in ethanolrelated impacts, $28m in 2010 alone. How big an impact is that? It represents six times the level of US agricultural aid that year and nearly as much as US food aid to Guatemala. It is equivalent to over 10 per cent of the government's annual expenditure on agricultural development. It is devastating for a country in which nearly half of children under five are malnourished. Of course, poor consumers are the ones most hurt by ethanol-related price increases, especially those in urban areas. Even in a net corn exporting country like Uganda, domestic corn prices spiked as international prices transmitted to local markets. Ugandans spend on average 65 per cent of their cash income on food, with poor urban consumers getting 20 per cent of their calories from corn purchased in the marketplace. More than half of Ugandans were considered "food insecure" in 2007, and the price spikes have only made that worse. US ethanol expansion has accounted for 21 per cent of corn prices in recent years, so it has forced thousands of Ugandans deeper into poverty and hunger. The US and other Northern governments can stop fuelling the food crisis with reckless biofuels expansion. The US can waive the RFS mandates to allow tight markets to adjust in a year of drought. It can join the European Union in reconsidering its mandates. It can halt the increase in blending targets to 15 per cent. On World Food Day, October 16, the FAO will convene an emergency meeting on the food crisis in Rome. Disgracefully, the G-20 group of economically powerful nations declined to convene its own emergency meeting, with a US spokesperson saying that "agricultural commodity markets are functioning". Global leaders should take a strong stand in Rome against biofuels expansion, endorse the use of food reserves to cushion markets in times of drought, demand rules to end financial speculation on food commodities and restrict the land grabs that are driven largely by global demand for biofuels. It's time we put food before fuel and people before cars. Source: Aljazeera



Ivory Coast exiles set up strategic command in Ghana- UN panel


Kenya president blocks parliament bonus pay


enyan President Mwai Kibaki has blocked $110,000 end-ofterm bonuses members of parliament awarded themselves after protests and a public outcry at a time when the state has raised taxes to plug a hole in its finances. Lawmakers in east Africa's biggest economy, already among the best paid in the world, voted to triple the bonus they will all receive when their five-year term ends in January to 9.3 million Kenyan shillings. The total cost, around 2 billion shillings, angered many taxpayers who already consider many of Kenya's members of parliament lazy, corrupt and greedy. More than 100 Kenyans marched to parliament in the capital Nairobi on Tuesday, punching the air, singing songs and waving placards reading "Wanted! Honest Leaders". "Enough is enough," shouted Fredrick Odhiambo, a civil rights activist. "What have they done for Kenyans to award themselves extra cash? Kenyans are the ones who pay taxes. They don't pay taxes." The legislators earn about $13,000 a month, the bulk in taxfree allowances, a huge figure in a country where an unskilled urban labourer may earn as little as $60 a month. Last year the MPs refused to pay back taxes demanded by the government, then bought new chairs worth $2,400 each for themselves to sit on. But Kibaki said he had refused to approve the bonus "on the grounds that it was first unconstitutional and secondly untenable in the prevailing economic circumstances in the country". In a statement from the presidency, Kibaki said: "the severance pay for parliamentarians would lead to an unsustainable wage bill at a time when the country requires massive resources to implement the new constitution and meet other competing demands in the economy."

Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki

xiles supporting Ivory Coast's former President Laurent Gbagbo have established a base in neighboring Ghana from which they are working to destabilize the current Ivorian government, according to excerpts from a new report by a U.N. expert panel. The supporters of Gbagbo, who is awaiting trial in The Hague for crimes against humanity, have a "military structure," have hired mercenaries in Ghana and Liberia and have established several training camps in eastern Liberia,

the report said. "They (Ivorian exiles) have established a strategic command in Ghana," it said, adding that their goal was to "destabilize" the government in Ivory Coast and return to power. The observations were in an interim report from the so-called U.N. Group of Experts, which monitors compliance with the Ivory Coast sanctions regime. The group plans to discuss its report with members of the U.N. Security Council's Ivory Coast sanctions committee on Friday,

U.N. diplomats said. Excerpts and information from the report, which also mentioned some less serious potential violations of the U.N. sanctions regime by the Ivorian government, were given to Reuters by a U.N. official and Security Council diplomats. The findings appear to add credence to allegations made by the Ivorian authorities that military and civilian officials of the former government, many of whom fled across the border at the end of a brief conflict last year,

are continuing their fight against President Alassane Ouattara's government from Ghanaian soil. The experts said that some pro-Gbagbo field commanders, collectively known as "the generals," boasted nicknames like "Western Tarzan," "Bob Marley," "Bushdog" and "Iron Jacket." The experts also identified the leaders of a June 2012 operation that led to the deaths of seven U.N. peacekeepers from Niger. One of the leaders went by the alias "Rambo."

Gbagbo forces now exiles

Zimbabwe minister arrested for Mugabe “insult�


imbabwe's energy minister was arrested on Wednesday on suspicion of insulting President Robert Mugabe, a move likely to strain relations in the southern African country's fragile coalition government. Elton Mangoma, a senior official in Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party, was taken into police custody but the nature of his alleged insult was not disclosed, the MDC

Energy and Power Development Minister Elton Mangoma speaking with journalist

said in a statement. Zimbabwe's security laws make it a criminal offence to insult the president. Offenders are usually fined if convicted. Tsvangirai and Mugabe's ZANU-PF party formed a power-sharing government three years ago after disputed polls in 2008 marred by mass violence. Mangoma has been arrested twice before and faced charges of criminally abusing his office in the awarding of government contracts but was later cleared.

Sudan expels Norwegian diplomat in tit-for-tat spy row


udan on yesterday expelled a Norwegian diplomat, the foreign ministry said, after Oslo told a Sudanese diplomat to leave the previous day over suspicions he was spying on refugees from the African country. The diplomatic spat risks damaging the two countries' ties Norway is one of the few Western countries to enjoy normal relations with Sudan, advising Khartoum on how to improve the performance of its oil industry. Sudan's foreign ministry said it had summoned the Norwegian

ambassador in Khartoum to inform him of the expulsion. It did not name the diplomat. "The foreign ministry told the Norwegian ambassador it hoped the incident would not harm bilateral ties," the ministry said in a statement. On Tuesday, Norway expelled a Sudanese diplomat it said had received information from a 38year old Sudanese man it had arrested earlier for spying on refugees. The Sudanese ambassador in Norway, Onoor Ahmed, denied his

country was involved in such spying, national broadcaster NRK reported. Most Western countries shun President Omar Hassan al-Bashir and other senior Sudanese officials who were indicted by the International Criminal Court for alleged war crimes in the western Darfur region. Sudan's relations with Germany were strained last month after the German embassy in Khartoum was stormed and torched in protests against a film insulting the Prophet Mohammad.

Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir



Asia and Bounty offered in Pakistan activist shooting Middle East


he Pakistani government has offered a Rs10 million ($105,000) bounty for the capture of the Pakistani Taliban assailants who shot Malala Yousafzai, a teenage rights and education activist in the northwestern Swat Valley, officials say. Yousafzai, a 14-year-old

schoolgirl, was shot in the head and neck on Tuesday, and has since undergone surgery to remove a bullet lodged in her skull. She was attacked on her way home from school in Mingora, the main town of Swat Valley, and is being treated at Peshawar's Combined Military Hospital. Mian Iftikhar Hussain, information minister of KhyberPakhtunkhwa province, said that

Yousafzai had been sedated following her surgery, and that doctors would release her condition in 48 hours. He said that she was in stable condition, but was not out of danger. "The government has decided to award Rs10 million rupees to whoever helps us identify the attackers and their names will be kept secret," he said. Prayers are being offered across the country for Yousafzai's

recovery. Pakistan's national airline has placed an air ambulance on standby to take Yousafzai abroad for treatment if needed, government sources said, but medics are wary of lengthy travel times given her unstable condition, while officials have rushed to issue her a passport. Students at a demonstration in support of the rights activist said that Yousafzai "is like our sister".

"We pray for her earliest recovery and well-being," said 14year-old Shamaila. "We also pray that other students can benefit from Malala's enlightening views." Hussain, the information minister, said "every child in [Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa] is under threat", but the provincial government "doesn't have the resources" to provide them all with security.

Another drone strike in Pakistan kills five suspected militants


Women protesters calling the hunt of Malala's shooters

US drone strike targeting a militant base has killed five insurgents in a Pakistani tribal region near the Afghan border, security officials say. The attack in North Waziristan is the first since cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan staged a rally last weekend against drones. The area of the latest attack is a known Taliban and al-Qaeda stronghold. The attacks, by unmanned US aircraft, are deeply unpopular in Pakistan, which says they violate its sovereignty. However the government of Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari has done nothing to stop them and many Pakistanis believe this amounts to tacit consent. Recent US report highlighted "terror"

China officials to skip IMF meetings in Japan


A drone

felt by civilians in north-west Pakistan, where drones target areas such North and South Waziristan Hundreds of low-level militant commanders and substantial minority of civilians killed Exact figures difficult to compile because independent media and researchers denied access to area by authorities Bureau of Investigative Journalism estimates 2,570-3,337 people killed in drone strikes, of which 474-884 were civilians Living Under Drones report says top commanders account for estimated 2% of victims US President Barack Obama has insisted that the drone strategy is "kept on a very tight leash" and that without the attacks, the US would have had to resort to "more intrusive military action".

hina's central bank governor and finance minister have withdrawn from upcoming International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank meetings being held in Japan. Japan said on Wednesday that the cancellations, which come as the two Asian giants remain at odds over a cluster of tiny islands in the East China Sea, were "very regrettable". A Japanese Finance Ministry official, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to the the sensitive nature of the matter, told the AP news agency that Zhou Xiaochuan, the governor of the People's Bank of China, who was scheduled to give the event's closing speech on Sunday, would not be going to

Tokyo. The official said that Finance Minister Xie Xuren had also cancelled his trip to take part in the IMF-World Bank annual meetings. The IMF confirmed that Zhou had pulled out, citing scheduling problems, but could not confirm whether Xie had also cancelled his trip. The IMF said Zhou's deputy, Yi Gang, will represent him at the meeting and will deliver Sunday's lecture. "If the financial representatives were to decide not to attend the important meeting to be held in Tokyo, I find it very regrettable," said Osamu Fujimura, Japan's chief cabinet secretary,

Israeli PM Netanyahu calls early election


People's Bank of China Governor Zhou Xiaochuan pulled out due to scheduling problems

srael's prime minister has ordered new parliamentary elections in early 2013, roughly eight months ahead of schedule, setting the stage for a lightning quick campaign that will likely win him re-election. For nearly four years, Binyamin Netanyahu has presided over a conservative coalition that has proven stable in a country where governments rarely serve out a full term. Re-election could grant him a fresh mandate to continue his tough stance toward Iran's suspect nuclear programme, put the already deadlocked peace process with the Palestinians further into deep freeze and complicate relations with the US if President Barack Obama is re-

elected. In a nationally televised address, Netanyahu said he was forced to call the snap polls after his coalition could not agree on a budget. "I have decided that it is in Israel's better interest to go to elections now and as quickly as possible," he said. "For Israel, it is preferable to have as short a campaign as possible, one of three months over one that would last in practice an entire year and damage Israel's economy." The next vote had been scheduled for a full year from now, although speculation had been growing for weeks that the current government's days were numbered and that Netanyahu would call for an early vote.


Europe and Americas BAE-EADS merger cancelled amid political impasse


California man behind antiIslam film headed for hearing


erospace and defence firms BAE Systems and EADS have decided to cancel their planned merger, after talks were thwarted by political deadlock. It followed days of talks between the UK, French and German governments to overcome political objections. The UK wanted its counterparts to agree to limit their influence in the merged firm in order to maintain BAE's strong working relations with the US Pentagon. "Once German intransigence became clear - as it did overnight EADS and BAE had no option but to call the whole thing off," said the BBC's business editor, Robert Peston. The move came ahead of a 17:00 BST regulatory deadline to close the deal. "We are obviously disappointed that we were unable to reach an acceptable agreement with our various government stakeholders," said BAE chief executive Ian King. EADS head Tom Enders said: "A special thank-you goes to Ian King for his trust and partnership. It is, of course, a pity we didn't succeed but I'm glad we tried." BAE shares fell 2% in London trading as the news broke, while EADS shares jumped 3%. UK firm BAE and FrancoGerman Airbus-owner EADS had to decide by shortly after the end of the London trading day on Wednesday whether to ask the Takeover Panel for an extension to their $45bn (ÂŁ28bn) merger talks. Robert Peston said that the decision not to ask for the extension did not rule out the possibility that talks between the two companies' management might resume in a few months' time. In their joint statement announcing the cessation of merger talks, Mr King said his team "continue to see opportunities", while Mr Enders said EADS "will continue on its international growth path". The EADS boss also said he was "sure there will be other challenges we'll tackle together in the future". UK Defence Secretary Philip Hammond had been meeting his French and German counterparts in Brussels. The merger needed the approval of the UK, French and German governments. Only the French government has a direct stake in EADS. Germany also exerts a high degree of control through the shareholding of German industrial group Daimler.

Nakoula Basseley Nakoula (C) is escorted out of his home by Los Angeles County Sheriff officers


California man behind an antiIslam film that stoked violent protests in the Muslim world was due in court in Los Angeles on Wednesday for a hearing on whether he violated his probation on a bank

fraud conviction and should be sent back to prison. The Egyptian-born man, known publicly as Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, has been in federal custody since late last month and was due to

appear before a U.S. district court judge under his legal name, Mark Basseley Youssef, court papers showed. A crudely made 13-minute video attributed to Youssef was filmed in

1964 to 1992. The battle has spawned litigation cases in numerous courts both inside and outside the US. Oil companies are watching the case closely because it may affect other cases accusing companies of polluting the areas where they operate. Chevron claims that the judgement, imposed by an Ecuadorean court in February 2011, was fraudulent and unenforceable under New York law. In March 2011, a federal judge in New York issued a worldwide injunction blocking enforcement of the judgement. But on January 26, the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals in New York overturned the ban,

finding that Chevron had been premature to challenge the judgement. The 2nd Circuit court said Chevron, based in San Ramon,

California and circulated online under several titles including "Innocence of Muslims." It portrays the Prophet Mohammad as a fool and a sexual deviant. The clip sparked a torrent of antiAmerican unrest in Egypt, Libya and dozens of other Muslim countries last month. The violence coincided with an attack on U.S. diplomatic facilities in Benghazi that killed four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador to Libya. U.S. authorities, as outrage against the film mounted, said they were not investigating the film itself. But prosecutors have said they could seek to have Youssef, 55, sent back to prison for up to two years if he is found to have violated his probation. Under the terms of his release from prison last year, Youssef is barred from using aliases without the permission of a probation officer and was restricted from accessing the Internet. He is facing eight possible probation violations, including the use of aliases, prosecutors said. "It will be interesting to see what the judge does and what the reaction is around the world," said Stan Goldman, a Loyola Law School professor.

Chevron loses bid against $18bn Ecuador fine


il giant Chevron has lost a US Supreme Court bid to block an $18.2bn judgement against it in Ecuador in a case over pollution in the Amazon jungle. The court did not give any explanation for Tuesday's decision, which rejected Chevron's appeal of a lower court ruling. The lower court in January had thrown out an injunction blocking enforcement of the Ecuadorean judgement. The decision is the latest in a nearly two-decade conflict between the second largest oil company in the US and residents of Ecuador's Lago Agrio region over claims that Texaco, bought by Chevron in 2001, contaminated the area from

California, could challenge it "only defensively, in response to attempted enforcement," which the Lago Agrio residents had not attempted, and might never

A resident of Ecuador's Lago Agrio region with a placard

Mexico’s Felip Calderon lauds Lazcano killing


exico's President Felipe Calderon has praised marines for killing the leader of the Zetas drug cartel, Heriberto Lazcano - known as "The Executioner". The navy said fingerprint tests had

President Felipe Calderon

confirmed the man killed was Lazcano. He died in a shootout with marines on Sunday in Coahuila, but his corpse was later stolen by an armed gang from a funeral home in the northern state.

Mr Calderon said the drugs boss was killed while resisting arrest, but did not mention the theft of his body. Infamous for mass killings, the Zetas control key drug-trafficking routes in north-eastern Mexico. Lazcano was killed in a gun battle with marines on Sunday in Progreso, some 125km (80 miles) west of the Texan border in Coahuila, the navy said. It said fingerprints and photographs of the body were taken before it was handed over to local authorities and transported to a funeral parlour - from where it was seized by gunmen and driven away in a hijacked hearse early on Monday morning. Mr Calderon praised the marines for the operation, and said the navy had made a significant impact on criminal organisations operating in the region.

"With this, Mexico has neutralised, during my government, 25 out of 37 of the most wanted criminals in the country," added the outgoing president. But the theft of the corpse has undoubtedly taken the gloss off this episode for Mexico's government, says the BBC's Will Grant in Mexico City, as it denies them the ability to parade Lazcano in front of the world's media. It also throws a shadow of doubt over what happened in a country that thrives on rumour and counterrumour, especially in relation to its violent drugs war, says our correspondent. Nevertheless, he adds, Mr Calderon will still be quietly celebrating the fact that Lazcano is no longer a threat in Mexico and that Los Zetas seems to be an organisation in some disarray.



Heaven is real, says neurosurgeon who claims to have visited the afterlife D

Dr. Eben Alexander

r. Eben Alexander has taught at Harvard Medical School and has earned a strong reputation as a neurosurgeon. And while Alexander says he's long called himself a Christian, he never held deeply religious beliefs or a pronounced faith in the afterlife. But after a week in a coma during the fall of 2008, during which his neocortex ceased to function, Alexander claims he experienced a life-changing visit to the afterlife, specifically heaven. "According to current medical understanding of the brain and mind, there is absolutely no way that I could have experienced even a dim and limited consciousness

during my time in the coma, much less the hyper-vivid and completely coherent odyssey I underwent," Alexander writes in the cover story of this week's edition of Newsweek. So what exactly does heaven look like? Alexander says he first found himself floating above clouds before witnessing, "transparent, shimmering beings arced across the sky, leaving long, streamer like lines behind them." He claims to have been escorted by an unknown female companion and says he communicated with these beings through a method of correspondence that transcended language. Alexander says the messages he

received from those beings loosely translated as: "You are loved and cherished, dearly, forever." "You have nothing to fear." "There is nothing you can do wrong." From there, Alexander claims to have traveled to "an immense void, completely dark, infinite in size, yet also infinitely comforting." He believes this void was the home of God. After recovering from his meningitis-induced coma, Alexander says he was reluctant to share his experience with his colleagues but found comfort inside the walls of his church. He's chronicled his experience in a new book, "Proof of Heaven: A

‘He wouldn’t lay down or sleep’: Mother ‘murdered baby son in fit of rage when he wouldn’t stop crying’


he mother of the 13month-old baby whose body was found wrapped in a blanket and dumped in woods has been charged with his murder. Shelby Dasher, 20, was charged with second-degree murder after admitting to police she repeatedly struck her son Tyler in a rage because he was crying and 'wouldn't lay down, wouldn't go back to sleep'. She also admitted disposing of his body, which was found discarded near a cemetery about a mile from his home on Tuesday, hours after Dasher reported him missing. It followed a frantic four-hour emergency services search for the child. Dasher originally told police she overslept that morning and discovered him gone from his crib when she awoke after claiming she put her son to bed at 10.30pm on Monday night. Robert P. McCulloch, the prosecuting attorney, told reporters at a press conference today: 'At this point, there's no indication that we have that there's anyone else involved other than Miss Dasher.' He said that Dasher arrived home drunk at 2.30am on Tuesday. When her mother left for work at 7.30am, Tyler would not stop crying so she beat him to death.

What happened after that is 'a bit fuzzy', according to what she told prosecutors. Police and the FBI mounted a massive search while questioning the mother. They noted there was no forced entry to the home. Tyler's father, Joe Ellington, lives elsewhere in the St Louis area. McCulloch said the child died of blunt-force trauma to the head and body. He said that 'as far as we know' Dasher carried the body to the cemetery herself.

Tyler Dasher died from blunt force trauma to the head and body

TV host faints on-air, partner keeps pitching

A Shelby Dasher admitted beating her baby son to death when he wouldn't stop crying

Amanda Cradic (left) and Meagan Mayer (right) react as they learn the body of the son of their best friend had been found

guest host on QVC who fainted on the air in the middle of a product pitch says she's doing fine. Cassie Slane was selling a child-friendly computer tablet on the home shopping channel when she collapsed Sunday. The camera immediately cut away to a product shot as host Dan Hughes went on with the show and continued to talk about the item. On Facebook, Slane thanked

fans for their support and said she was feeling much better, while Hughes praised "the rapid response and immediate care that came to Cassie's side." Another QVC host, Carolyn Gracie, told her Facebook followers that low blood sugar was the culprit that caused Slane's fainting spell. QVC is based in the Philadelphia suburb of West Chester.

Cassie Slane was selling a child-friendly computer tablet on the home shopping channel when she collapsed

neurosurgeon's journey into the afterlife," which will be published in late October. "I'm still a doctor, and still a man of science every bit as much as I was before I had my experience," Alexander writes. "But on a deep level I'm very different from the person I was before, because I've caught a glimpse of this emerging picture of reality. And you can believe me when I tell you that it will be worth every bit of the work it will take us, and those who come after us, to get it right."

Mother 'let her 9year-old son drive himself to school'


mother has been called 'irresponsible' after allowing her nine year old son drive himself to school. Tammy O'Neal said she allowed her son to take the wheel of her car 'because he wanted to'. Other parents at W. Reilly Brown Elementary School in Dover, Delaware, looked on in shock as the boy pulled up at the school at sitting behind the wheel of the Toyota Corolla car. O'Neal was in the passenger seat and took over control of the car after dropping her son off. Police called to the school were given a description of the car and arrested O'Neal a few hours later. During police interviews O'Neal, a single mum, said he son had pestered her to be allowed to drive and she gave in to his demands. O'Neal told officers she has allowed her son to drive since he was five years old in a field near their former home in Magnolia. Police chief Captain Tim Stamp said O'Neal had been irresponsible. 'It was an absolutely irresponsible decision made by the parent to allow her 9-year-old to drive,' Stump said. 'Not only is she putting her son at danger, but everyone else as well. Captain Stamp added: "He was apparently bugging his mother to let him drive to school.' O'Neal was charged with reckless endangering and endangering the welfare of a child. She was released on $1,000 bond.

Tammy O'Neal



rinking more than three cups of coffee a day may increase the risk of vision loss and blindness, according to American research. Even moderate amounts of the drink make developing the devastating eye condition glaucoma more likely. The study, published in the journal Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, suggests coffee lovers reduce their intake to reduce their chances of developing the condition. Glaucoma occurs when the drainage tubes within the eye become slightly blocked. This prevents eye fluid from draining properly, causing pressure to build up. When the fluid cannot drain properly, pressure builds up. This can damage the optic nerve, which connects the eye to the brain, and the nerve fibres from the retina (the lightsensitive nerve tissue that lines the back of the eye). The researchers, from the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, suggest that compounds found in coffee may increase pressure within the eyeball, causing a vision-destroying condition known as exfoliation glaucoma. This occurs when material is rubbed off both the eye’s iris and lens, which then clogs up the eyeball’s fluid-draining system, leading to increased pressure within the eye However no correlation was with other caffeine products such as tea, cola or chocolate. Previous research has found that Scandinavian populations have the highest occurrence of exfoliation glaucoma. They also have the highest


aking a low dose of aspirin may help keep the brain young, claim researchers. A study of older women taking low doses to prevent heart disease found it also helped preserve their memory. Millions of Britons take aspirin on doctor’s orders to prevent heart problems. Other research suggests it may cut the risk of cancer. There have been conflicting results from studies about whether long-term use of Non Steroidal Anti Inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin protects against declining brain power and dementia.


How switching to decaf could save your sight consumption of caffeinated coffee in the world. The new study assessed more than 120,000 people in the UK and U.S. who were over 40 and not suffering from glaucoma. They completed questionnaires about how much coffee they drank and their medical records were checked for a history of glaucoma. Those who drank more than three cups a day were had an

Coffee: More than three cups a day may increase the risk of glaucoma

risk. Coffee may not be without its benefits, however. Research published earlier this year in the New England Journal of Medicine

found drinking four to five cups a day possibly reduced the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes, among other conditions Source:

Time to switch: Unlike coffee, other sources of caffeine such as tea, cola and chocolate were not associated with sight loss

Taking low dose of aspirin to prevent heart disease could slow down memory loss But research published in the online journal BMJ Open found regular low-dose aspirin did slow cognitive decline. The five-year study at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, involved 681 women aged 70 to 92. The majority of women were at high risk of heart disease and stroke. Decline in brain power was found to be considerably less among those who took aspirin every day over the entire period. It is thought the same effect

Millions take aspirin on doctor's orders to prevent heart problems

Older women who took low doses of aspirin found it helped to preserve their memory

increased risk of developing glaucoma compared with those who abstained. Women with a family history of glaucoma also had an elevated

would be found in men. All the elderly women were put through tests to measure their physical health and intellectual capacity, including verbal fluency and memory speed, and dementia. A group of 129 women were taking low dose aspirin (75 to 160 mg) every day to ward off a heart attack or stroke when the study started. A further 94 were taking various other non-steroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Their health was tracked over five years, at the end of which the

intellectual capacity of 489 women was assessed again. The mini-mental state examination (MMSE) score fell, on average, across the whole group at the end of the five years, but this decline was considerably less in the 66 women who had taken aspirin every day over the entire period. The researchers then divided up the group into those who had taken aspirin for the entire five years (66); those who had stopped taking it by 2005-6 (18); those who were taking it by 2005-6 (67); and

those who hadn’t taken the drug at any point (338). Compared with women who had not taken aspirin at all, those who had done so for all five years, increased their MMSE score, while those who had taken aspirin at some point, registered only insignificant falls in MMSE score. There were no differences, however, in the rate at which the women developed dementia. The scientists say aspirin’s protective effect may be due to its anti-clotting action helping to improve blood flow to the brain. Professor Clive Ballard, of the Alzheimer’s Society, said: ‘It is a potential additional benefit. However aspirin does have a number of potentially serious sideeffects with long-term use and shouldn’t be taken for long periods unless prescribed by a doctor.’ The author of the research paper, which was published in the online journal BMJ Open, expressed caution over the observational study as the MMSE can detect subtle changes in cognitive ability. Dr Anne-Borjesson-Hanson University of Gothenburg in Sweden, said: ‘The findings indicate that aspirin may protect the brain, at least in women at high risk of a heart attack or stroke.’ Source:



Buhari was misled over Katsina CPC crisis, Hon. Abba INTERVIEW The people of the Katsina Central Federal Constituency gave you their mandates to represent them at the National Assembly, but some people somehow cut short your tenure at the House of Representatives, how did it all start? It started right from our primary election days; when the CPC came out as a party, it was gladly accepted but unfortunately there were some people in the party who have ungodly agenda, people who believe if it is not them, then it’s nobody else and these people are not the ordinary men. They have never won and cannot win an election. In Kaduna, there is this conspiracy of trying to maneuver the primary elections to produce a candidate that is already predetermined and that became impossible. On the 13th of January, they sent Jubril Bala Hassan to conduct the primary election of the party and when he reached Kaduna, he handed the election materials over to Aminu Bello Masari who was the former speaker and a gubernatorial candidate among other five candidates, which is wrong according to the party’s guideline, Electoral Act and the Constitution. He went to someone’s house to write the results and when Kaduna became too hot for them, they relocated to a hotel in Kano to continue with the ungodly act. That same day, when the people realized there was no primary election taking place, there was a meeting held at the office of the Police Commissioner in Kaduna with the SSS director, our state Chairman, Dr. Armayau Yushau, and some others in attendance. In the meeting, it was agreed and announced that there won’t be primary election until the following day which was the 14th of January. At that juncture, Colonel Jibril Bala Hassan sent from the national headquarters to conduct the primaries demanded for N500,000 to print election materials because of the mis-utilized materials. He complained of insecurity and some mobile policemen were given to him. That evening, the conspiracy grew so well; the Colonel sent away the police given to him saying he was not comfortable, without knowing he intended to run away from Kaduna which he did that night. People came out to vote on the 14th, around 10am, the Colonel did not come and we started looking for him. When they called him, he said he was approaching Abuja and we immediately met and agreed to charter an aircraft to Kaduna and informed the national headquarters that we were coming on the 14th because 15th being Saturday was

The Congress for Progressive Change (CPC, in Katsina state is enmeshed in crisis as the former elected members of the House of Representatives and Senate from various parts of the state were replaced by others in rival camp within the party. In this session with journalists, one of the affected members, Muhammad Tukur Abba, who was representing Katsina Central Federal Constituency, speaks on the ongoing duel and the people misleading General Muhammad Buhari and other issues. Our correspondent, Sunday Ejike Benjamin and Muhammad Sada were there. Excerpts: the last day according to the guideline. The National Headquarters told us to come with the assumption that before we will get to Abuja, it will take at least six hours and by then, they would be gone since it was Friday, they said it will give them a clear field to do whatever they want. Within an hour, our people were in Abuja and they told us to go back that another person was coming to conduct the election and that person happened to be Eng. Suleiman Adamu, the national vice chairman of CPC North/West. Eng. Suleiman also demanded for money to print electoral materials and the National Treasurer gave him the money. Suleiman stopped at the ABU Zaria printing press to print the complete materials for primary elections and proceeded to Katsina the same day. We had another stakeholders’ meeting from 10pm to 4:30am. In the meeting, Suleiman Adamu requested that in the morning, they will go to INEC to know if it will agree to validate the election of 8th or 13th, but we outrightly knew that there was no election on the 13th, but in the interest of party unity, we agreed to let them do it. Early morning of the 15th, they went to the INEC chairman and he said they did not witness any primary election of either date. The election exercise was conducted all through the state on the 15th. Collation of the results started and by 4am the result was announced but in the process of doing that, Suleiman Adamu was called by somebody we did not know but we believe is either a member of the Board of Trustees or the National Secretary, when the result is yet to be announced and they told him not to declare the winner. Eng. Suleiman declared the winners there but when he left Katsina, he even requested money from the State Chairman for some things but he took the whole money to Buhari saying he was bribed. Suleiman told Buhari that he announced the winner under duress. When the hall was so full, a public address system was brought to him but he refused to use it. The real conspiracy was that some people have been sold to the chairman of the BOT, Mohammad Buhari, who without conducting any investigation believed it. We went to the Federal High Court early February. On February 25th, we had the judgment that we are the authentic candidates and

Muhammad Tukur Abba must represent the party and that was why we campaigned for the 2011 election and won 12 out of 15 federal constituencies and also the 3 senatorial seats. But after the judgment, the party also said they were appealing and there was a quick judgment delivered on the eve of the gubernatorial election and that was after the National Assembly election had taken place and winners returned. The judgment said that the other people are the candidates representing the party. Actually, the Aminu Bello Masari camp was discovered to be working with a certain PDP Senatorial candidate who was also sponsoring them. They formed the conspiracy so that they can take our seats and then PDP would use section 141 of the Electoral Act which states that if you do not contest and win in all stages of election, then you are qualified. The list was dubiously submitted to the National Headquarters because the state chapter refused to be part of the plot and even on the gubernatorial candidacy, though many were against it, most of the elders could not refrain from accepting Senator Yakubu Lado who emerged as the successful candidate and I believe that there is PDP angle to this. I believe if Senator Yakubu had

contested with the PDP governor, he would have certainly beaten him hands down and Shema knew that he could beat Masari anytime anywhere if they contest and that led to a situation where General Buhari made his greatest mistake. And that was on his political rally day in Katsina, instead of him to raise the hand of Yakubu as the candidate but on condition that court judgment is being awaited, he raised those of Masari’s Senatorial camp and said the one of governor could not be declared and so, you see, it is not how it was supposed to have been done by a well respected and presumed leader and thus this gave the chance to PDP to do and achieve their agenda. After the Appeal Court ruling what was the next step? Our lawyers appealed to the Supreme Court and before judgment was given, Buhari was quoted on radio saying that we should go and vote for Masari, saying that he is a gentleman. I believe as a leader you should beware of everyone’s activities before making decisions. He should not have said this as he had cited at the rally that there was a court case and same situation applies here, but no. We should think well before choosing a leader not based on what he was before but whom really one is.

After the appeal court judgment, we appealed and it took some time and before the ruling of the Court of Appeal, we had our National Assembly elections early April. But some people at the Headquarters conspired and did not even allow us to collect our certificates in time and this led to our not going for the induction course meant for preparing lawmakers on their tasks and we were sworn-in few days after the other members. The Supreme Court said it lacked jurisdiction… Yes, they said so but they cannot run away from the fact that we have been to court and won our case; we have been duly returned and we have contested, we have gone and won at the Tribunal, we have been sworn in. The judgment said that the other people are the candidates representing the party, actually the Aminu Bello Masari camp that was discovered were working with a certain PDP senatorial candidate, who sponsored them to form conspiracy to take our seats and then PDP would use section 141 of the Electoral Act which states that if you do not contest and win in all stages of election, then you are not qualified. After that judgment the PDP, led by the then Acting Chairman, Kawu Baraje then wrote the INEC chairman that they did not hold a valid election in the state and that the elections should be re-conducted or the chairs given to them. They agreed to seek a legal consortium on the issue of the judgment headed by one Chief Owolomo. There are two alternatives for the INEC chairman, one is to go back to the Supreme Court and seek interpretation of that judgment, they related the case to that of Amaechi which is very different and decided to advise INEC Chairman to issue Certificates to the others which he did and challenged us to go to court What are the specific reliefs you and your colleagues brought before the federal high court in Abuja? Yes we are challenging the authority of INEC to issue certificate to people who did not participate in an election without any consequential court order, an action which is against the Electoral Act 141. You can’t say you are genuine with only a certificate and no court order. The people were sworn in without complete legal documents.



Bye election: We’ve been vindicated, Plateau PDP boasts From Nankpah Bwakan, Jos

P L-R: Chairman, House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Hon. Zakari Mohammed, Chairman, House Committee on Finance, Hon. Abdulmumini Jibril, and Chief Press Secretary to the Speaker, House of Representatives, Mr. James Ojo, during the press briefing on 2013 Budget presented by President Goodluck Jonathan to the National Assembly, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

Oyo PDP suffering from ‘economic illiteracy’ - ACN From Inumidun Ojelade, Ibadan


he Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Oyo State chapter, has deplored what it called the economic illiteracy of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state and the South-West zone, especially as regards the N50 billion bond and the African Development Bank (ADB) loan being undertaken by the state government. It stated this in a release signed by its state Publicity Secretary, Hon. Dauda Kolawole. According to the party, the criticism of these economic efforts by the state government by the PDP was a reflection of the party runners’ sparse knowledge of economics, especially the concept of borrowing from the capital market. “All over the world, there is an understanding that governments can hardly be run without borrowing. Indeed, what you intend do with the borrowed money is far more instructive than the fact of the borrowing. The tragedy of borrowing is that, in the past, this money was spent on mundane and unprofitable ventures. Governments that are forward-looking and mindful of the development of their states, however, ensure that they engage in productive borrowing, that is, borrowing that will ensure a better future for their people. That is what the

government of Oyo State is engaged in,” the ACN said. According to the party, the level of “infrastructural rot” and “economic stasis” that the PDP government bequeathed to the current government in the state could not be attended with the inadequate allocations it receives from the federal purse and the paltry internallygenerated revenue it receives. “Our state’s personal woes are boosted by the age-long infrastructure that were left unattended to by successive governments, most of which age has started ensuring their collapse. Bridges have been collapsing; water plants unserviced have been giving way and several other woes. These have to be attended to by an attentive government if we want to further boost development in our state. “Take for instance the $56.24 million African Development Bank (ADB) loan approved to be taken by the government. This is meant to fund the Urban Water Supply and Sanitation Improvement Project in Ibadan. Everyone knows that water had been a perennial problem in Ibadan as all previous interventions in the water sector in Ibadan had always been limited to the rehabilitation or expansion of water treatment facilities without corresponding attention to the reticulation system. The loan will help solve this problem. A more pro-active opposition

party would seek to ensure that this money is spent on this water scheme and on it alone, rather than this unintelligent flippancy,” the ACN said. The party also accused the PDP of what it called “selective amnesia”, stating that the PDP-led Federal Government, which has an external debt of about $50b, has approached the National Assembly for leave to borrow further money, while many PDP governments in Nigeria were also approaching financial institutions for leave to borrow money. This criticism smacks of mischief because one of the Oyo State PDP chieftains who signed the release attacking the ACN-led government, who purportedly schooled in London, ought to have educated his party that even the UK national debt, that is the total amount of money the British government owes to the private sector and other purchasers of UK gilts are: Public sector net debt, £1,039.5 billion in 2012, and this debt, if all financial sector intervention is included (e.g. Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds), the Net debt was £2311.6 billion” the ACN said. It added that rather than constituting itself into what the party called a “megaphone of anti-development”, what the PDP should rather busy itself with was to ensure that the money is spent on the developmental initiatives that the government had earmarked the money for.

Taraba NLC conducts congresses in LGs From Yusha'u Alhassan, Jalingo


hairman, Taraba chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Mark Mayaji Ishaku, has expressed satisfaction with the conduct of the just concluded branch elections of the Congress in the local government areas in the state. Speaking with our reporter in Jalingo, Ishaku said the peaceful conduct of the branch elections has demonstrated that civil servants in the state were ready to embrace one another for sustainable development.

The Chairman expressed delight that his earlier call on the returning officers as well as civil servants to steer clear from inviting politicians into labour elections was heeded. He asked politicians to emulate labour union in the state by conducting themselves peacefully during and after elections. The Chairman reitrated the readiness of the labour unions in the state to partner with the present government to deliver essential services to civil servants adding that the promises made to labour had been fulfilled. The labour leader, who commented on

the security challenges facing the country, called on civil servants to be their brothers' keepers and to report suspicious characters to the police for action. He described the recent bomb blast in the state capital as the handiwork of ungodly people who were bent on destabilizing the state. The labour leader also asked security agents to be alive to their responsibilities to avert further loss of lives and property in the State. He urged civil servants to be committed to their duties as the present labour organization had a lot of goodies for them.

lateau chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday said the peaceful conduct of the state bye elections and its victory has cleared all doubts about the capacity of the state to hold elections. Addressing newsmen, the state chairman of the party, Dr. Haruna Dabin, said the forces have dismissed all skeptics that following the spate of violence in the state, holding of elections in the state would be near impossibly. According to him, it was so because the Plateau North is not only the seat of government, but the theatre of the internecine tribal strifes in the state and therefore the conduct of the election had attracted interests not only in the state but beyond. He said “Given that Plateau North senatorial district is the heartbeat of the state as well as the seat of government as indeed the struggle for the soul of Plateau has been over Jos, and given the fact that the Senatorial district is the most cosmopolitan and heterogeneous in creed and culture, the expectations of our detractors is that the electioneering campaign and indeed the election would be full of premeditated violence and blood-letting.” Dabin said however that the detractors were amazed that what they had thought did not come to pass and congratulated Gyang Pwajok and Mrs. Kaneng Gyang Fulani for winning the senatorial and House of Assembly seats. He appealed to the losers to accept defeat and support the winners as the margin of winning was convincing beyond all reasonable doubts. However, the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), in the state has vowed to challenge the victory of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Senator elect for Plateau North Senatorial zone in court alleging that the election was marred with irregularities. The state chairman of the party, Dr. Mohammed Jega, in a press statement said the party is gathering data and “as a party, we are preparing to take legal action against the perpetrators of that act. Meanwhile, we appeal to our teaming supporters to remain calm”. But the PDP, Dr. Dabin maintained that “We indeed deplore this penchant for going to court even where the loser knows that he has no hope for any victory. There is really no basis for going to court because even if you add all their votes, PDP would have defeated them by over 40,000 votes.” Dabin however, warned against cross carpeting, just for the purpose of participating in elections stressing that “Era of using political parties just as election platforms must stop. All the five candidates that contested the election were at one time or the other members of the PDP”. He added “I think we have reached a point where political prostitution has become the norm rather than the principle and we should put a stop to that”.



Patch your leaking house, Mimiko counsels ACN From Ayodele Samuel, Lagos


he Mimiko Campaign Organisation (MCO) has called on the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) to pay more attention to its leaky houses in the South West states where it is currently holding sway as governance has been at the lowest ebb in the zone. Giving this advice in Akure, the MCO, which spoke against the backdrop of the series of crises that now bedevil these states while the leadership of the party concentrates their attention on capturing Ondo State, noted that such a development reeked of double standards. According to the MCO, it was a thing of shame that while the governance and the people where they currently govern were suffering, they have levied, bullied governors of these states and their local government officers into donating billions of naira to capture Ondo State The organization in a release signed by its Director of Publicity and Media Relations, Mr Kolawole Olabisi, regretted that ACN had embarked on a wasteful venture and on a sure journey to perdition in Ondo state like a wasteful father whose family at home live in abject poverty, want and deprivation while he spends like a money minting machine out there. It stated "In Ondo State today, we are not owing staff salaries, Ondo state pays the highest minimum wages of N22, 000 in Nigeria, we have paid all the entitlements of our pensioners who we referred for being worth senior citizens up to date; our students pay the cheapest tuition fee in Nigeria; our educational

sector is a benchmark for Nigeria while our health sector is not only the best in Nigeria but has been adjudge a template for Africa. We can go on and on because Ondo state is better managed than any state controlled by the ACN. "A look at the South Western states as of today however shows a sorry state of thing owing to the desperation of an emperor and his minions who in running amok want to conquer all have left government ships to go aground. "Governance in Osun state is grounded, students yesterday protested the non-payment of their bursaries and scholarship and paralysed Osogbo, the state

capital; workers, especially teachers are up in arms with the state government over non payment of N18,000 minimum wages, and 27.5 % Teachers Salary Scale (TSS). Yet, the State Government has spent over N5billion in the operation capture Ondo State. "The situation in Ekiti State is even worse, tertiary institution are on strike and shut down; students have been killed during protests against government policy; local government workers are protesting massive monthly deduction from their account by the State government. "Indeed, teachers too are

protesting non payment of their salaries and other emoluments by the State government. Yet the state government is turning over its treasuries to their emperor in his impossible ego trip to Ondo state. "In other ACN states, crises of sack of workers, students' protests over hike in tuition fees, scrapping and merging of existing tertiary institutions that they inherited from their predecessors abound. These are the precarious situation in ACN states that they have left unattended to while they strut about boasting that they must add Ondo state to this kind of misery.

L-R: Wife of the Ondo state Governor, Mrs Olukemi Mimiko, the state Governor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko, and Osemawe of Ondo, Oba Victor Adesimbo KIladejo, during a visit by the governor to the Osemawe before Mimiko's campaign tour of his hometown, on Tuesday in Ondo.

Reps insist on full budget implementation ByLawrenceOlaoyewithagencyreports


he House of Representatives Committee on Science and Technology has stressed the need for 100 per cent release of funds to Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to implement their budgets The Chairman of the committee, Mr. Abiodun Akinlade, stated this recently when members of the committee paid an oversight visit to

the National Office for technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP). He said it would be very difficult for the country to develop if the rate of fund releases for budget implementation remained low, resulting in poverty and low economic growth. “When you don’t fund the budget, this country cannot move forward. I can tell you today that the capital budget in most of the agencies in science and technology is less than 40 per cent. We will not take

anything less than 100 per cent implementation of the budget.” Akinlade, however, commended NOTAP for effective application of the fund so far released for budget implementation. Earlier, Dr Umar Bindir, the Director General of NOTAP, said that 38.6 per cent of the N182 million capital budget of the agency for this year had so far being released. He said the agency had utilised the money to implement the relevant projects that spread across the six geo-political zones

of the country. Umar also told the committee that NOTAP would collaborate with relevant agencies to hold workshops on the deployment of technology and management of the flood in 2013. “NOTAP has decided to look at issues on acquiring technology and applying it in the water system. “We will bring people who have used water to produce rice and export it to us. We will bring them to Nigeria to discuss with us on how to solve the problem of flood.”

Police chiefs meet warring Ogun PDP factions


he Assistant Inspector General of Police in Charge of Lagos and Ogun, Mr. Mamman Tsafe, yesterday in Abeokuta, held a closeddoor meeting with warring factions of the PDP in Ogun. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Commissioner of Police in Ogun,

Mr. Ikemefuna Okoye, also attended the meeting, aimed at ensuring peace and harmony in the state. NAN reports that disagreement over the party’s leadership and who occupies the party’s secretariat led to the crisis, which has been raging since last year. Briefing newsmen after

the meeting, Tsafe said the meeting was to fashion out an amicable solution to the crisis. According to him, ‘’our (police) major interest is to see that the party does not allow its internal crisis to affect other segments of the society. ‘’I came to intervene in the intraparty quagmire that has to do with

the control of the party leadership. ‘’We had an interesting discussion with the factions and I have strong conviction that they have the capacity to resolve it amicably very soon,‘’ he said. The police chief assured the public that police would do its best to ensure that law and order were not broken in the state. (NAN)

Cross River legislators protest FG’s delay to appeal ICJ judgment on Bakassi


embers of the Cross River Assembly have protested against the position of the Federal Government to appeal the ICJ ruling that handed the oil rich Bakassi Peninsula to the Republic of Cameroon. The peaceful protest on Tuesday was led by the Speaker of the Assembly, Mr Larry Odey, from the State House of Assembly to Government House, Calabar. But Gov. Liyel Imoke of Cross River assured them that the state was still hopeful on the resolution of the “intractable’’ Bakassi issue in which it has no locus standing to file an action at the ICJ. “For us, what is important is the authorities at the Federal Government understanding the passion and the pain that the people of the state feel. “The consequence of the judgement to the people is significant and I don’t know whether we have done enough to address that. “There are lots of grievances and lot of pains and emotions that had been expressed.” The legislators chanted songs like “Bakassi is our birth right and we will never let it go.” Odey, who spoke on their behalf during the audience with Imoke, said the preponderance of the opinion with respect to whether the judgement of the ICJ should be reviewed or not was in favour of review. “I recalled that Mr President said that he requested Speakers of Houses of Assembly of Akwa Ibom and Cross River should be in attendance of meeting last week in Abuja. “Mr President wanted us to convey back to our people what transpired in the meeting. “That meeting had the leadership of the Senate and House of Representatives and our sons and daughters from Cross River at both houses of National Assembly in attendance. “I had reported to the 24 members of the Cross River House of Assembly and the members of the assembly have been waiting. “My report was that Mr President saw clearly the opinions of those at the meeting and of course the opinions of majority of Nigerians that are in favour of the review.’’ Odey said the protest was to find out from Imoke the position of the review of the ICJ Judgement. “As I speak to you, we have not heard anything in that respect and so we feel we should come to you to find out whether you have in your position any privileged information on the thinking of the Federal Government on this matter. “Your Excellency, we will be happy because if we go back with good report and we will convey same to our constituency and will be able to arrest the trend of our anxieties and that of our people.’’ Reacting to the development, Imoke expressed appreciation for unprecedented action taken by the State House of Assembly. (NAN)



Bankole advocates good leadership By Tobias Lengnan Dapam


L-R: National Chairman, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, Vice- President Mohammed Namadi Sambo, during the presentation 2013 Budget proposal before the joint session of the National Assembly by President Goodluck Jonathan, yesterday, in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

PDP commends Jonathan for timely presentation of budget By Lawrence Olaoye


he Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday commended President Goodluck Jonathan for presenting the 2013 Appropriationm estimate on time to the National Assembly for consideration. The party in a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, equally lauded the President for taking bold initiatives towards

stabilizing the economy in the 2013 budget. According to the party, Jonathan mad a courageous effort to reduce budget deficit and set a realistic oil bench mark to insulate the economy from the harsh effects of global recession. "The early presentation of the budget will give the National Assembly enough time to do a thorough job as well get it passed on time for the executive to appropriate.

"The budget is intended to take care of the uncertainty in the global oil pricing and insulate the economy from the adverse effects of its volatility." While commending Jonathan for making specific efforst towards the emancipation of women in the budget, the PDP also expressed satisfaction at the synergy between the executive and the National Assembly. It stated "Women are the bedrock of the society and the President has remained faithful

to the commitment of our Party to empower women. His elaborate provisions in the next year's budget in this direction is continuation of a well thought policy to improve the lots of women." "We wish to commend the National Assembly which our great party leads for being good ambassadors in the discharge of their constitutional responsibilities. We appreciate their efforts in promoting democratic values.

Senators agree to work with Jonathan By Richard Ihediwa


resident Goodluck Jonathan, Ministers and Senators met in Abuja on Tuesday night and agreed that the executive and legislature must work together in the interest of the citizenry and the development of the country. This was the outcome of a parley involving the government officials at Senate President David Mark's Apo official residence.

Speaking, Jonathan said although, the Presidential system of government prescribes separation of powers, all the arms have the common goal which is to ensure the welfare of the people and the development of the country. "We face the same challenges, we face the same elections and the problems are the same, so, we must come together and work like a team to achieve the same goal", he said. To achieve a harmonious

relationship between the executive and the legislature, President Jonathan called for regular social interactions in order to cement the accord and erase grey areas or misconceptions. Beside the social interaction at the national level, he advocated for similar arrangements both at the zonal and the state levels so that the aspirations of the people could be met adding that the future of our people and the progress of our country

should be paramount in our minds. Earlier, the President of the Senate and facilitator of the parley said the interaction between the executive and the legislature was aimed at celebrating our oneness and the similarity of purpose for the future of Nigeria and Nigerians. Mark called for mutual cooperation between the two arms of government in order to bring the much needed development to the doorstep of every Nigerian.

PAC faults award of honorary doctorate degrees to politicians


he National Chairman of the Progressive Action Congress (PAC), Chief Charles Nwodo, says the award of honorary doctorate degrees to politicians is not in the best interest of the nation’s education system. Nwodo made the observation in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Abuja. According to him, university should serve as the epoch of decency and decorum.

He regretted that many universities embarked on award of honorary degrees, especially to those who had not contributed anything meaningful to the educational development of the nation. Nwodo said such class of degree should have been awarded to models and individuals who contributed immensely to the growth and development of the country, in their various endeavours. “ It should not be seen as a showbiz for mediocre and corrupt politicians

desperately searching for image laundering to cover their failures,” he said. The party chairman urged senate of the universities to curb corruption in the universities to bring back “the lost glory of university education in the country”. He expressed optimism that the crusade would help in arresting the fall in the standard of education and motivate students to aim at excellence in their academic pursuits, among other benefits.

Nwodo also urged the Federal Government to set up minimum standard for those to receive such awards, to distinguish between those who merited the award and those who did not. NAN recalls that a new policy, drafted by the Association of ViceChancellors of Nigerian Universities has recommended banning the nation’s tertiary institutions from awarding honorary doctorate degrees to political office holders or appointees. (NAN)

ormer Speaker of House of Representatives, Hon. Dimeji Bankole, has bemoaned lack of good governance in the country, describing the challenge as the bane of socioeconomic development in Nigeria and Africa. Speaking in a paper entitled,' Mentoring And The Challenge of Leadership in Africa', during the first commencement address of the Federal University of Agriculture (FUTA), Abeokuta in Ogun state, to mark the start of 2012/2013 session of the university, Bankole said: "There is temptation to conclude that Africa is bedeviled by intractable problems when one examines the different crises that ranged from terrorism, aftermath of Arab spring, unmet expectations in South Africa and the continued crisis of nationhood in Nigeria". According to him, to resolve such problems which attributed to the dearth of effective leadership, Nigeria and other African countries must improve on the development of the agricultural sector and building of systems that utilize the experience of people who have occupied leading positions in the country's national life.

Constitution Amendment: FCT Indigenes demand better treatment


he Original Inhabitants Development Association of Abuja (OIDA) stormed the National Assembly on Tuesday demanding a State, two additional Senatorial Districts and the FCT House of Assembly. The Abuja indigenes are also demanding for 20 per cent of all sales accruing from allocable lands and 40 percent of all allocation to individuals within the Federal Capital. The placard carrying protesters said that the original inhabitants of the FCT had been disenfranchised and asked that they be adequately provided for in the ongoing constitution amendment. The messages of some of their placards read; ” create two additional senatorial districts and four additional federal constituencies, “the Constitution gave us a state but we remain Stateless”. Others were; “implement Section 299 of 1999 Constitution fully’’ , ``FCT original inhabitants are disenfranchised”, “ Give us our rights, Federal Government,” among others. The statement said they had lived for 36 years under continuous forceful demolition of homes, seizure of farmlands without human sympathy or due compensation to the people. (NAN)



2013 Nations Cup qualifiers

Yobo weeps over Lone Stars By Patrick Andrew


o, not a gain. Skipper Joseph Yobo will be missing in action this weekend in the Super Eagles’ decisive return leg of the 2013 Nations Cup qualifier against the Lone Stars of Liberia. The Fernabache defender has barely featured in the Super Eagles’ Nations Cup qualifying campaigns, this year. Since lacing the boots against Rwanda, he had been sidelined from subsequent matches and only returned against Liberia in Monrovia and performed below per. In June, he missed all three of Nigeria’s Nations Cup and World Cup qualifiers against Rwanda, Malawi and Namibia also on account of injury. But just it was thought that he would lead the squad in the final qualifying war against Liberia, Yobo called Head Coach, Stephen Keshi, to drop the bombshell. Yobo, Keshi said, could not contain his emotions as he wept considerably while confirming his nonavailability for the crucial game because of a nagging knee injury. Yobo, who is usually war-like on the pitch and had on severally, rescued the Eagles with important goals, had sustained the injury last weekend while in action for his Turkish side. As a result of the injury, Yobo has a swollen knee that requires thorough medical diagnose to determine the seriousness of the injury but certainly the Fernabache medical team has him ruled out of the game. However, it was not yet clear whether he would have to be subjected to the knife - a development that would make it

Malawi FA declares war on Ghana

impossible for him to be physically present to cheer on his colleagues. “If the medical team in Turkey clears him, we should be expecting Yobo on Friday, for the Saturday game. Our hearts go out to him and his family and at this point we want to say his health is more important to us because we will still need him

soon for the Nations Cup proper and the World Cup qualifiers. “We know he loves to play games like this. That was why he was shedding tears but we have assured him that capable replacement will help secure the ticket to South Africa 2013 Nations Cup”, Keshi who confirmed his non-availability for the game yesterday said. Keshi though has assured that the technical crew are not panicking over the incident as there are capable replacements. In his absence, Azubuike Egwueke and Godfrey Oboabana had taken charge of the centre of defence and at other time Oboabana and Efe Ambrose had paired. In Blantyre, it Oboabana and Egwueke at the heart of the defence while Ambrose operated from on the right with Juwon Oshanaike at the left of the defence.

Joseph Yobo, out of the duel, Azubuike Egwueke, Efe Ambrose, Godfrey Oboabana, capable replacements for Yobo in the heart of the defence


he Football Association of Malawi (FAM) has declared war on the Black Stars of Ghana by calling on Malawians to put on red colours when the Flames host the visitors on Saturday at Civo Stadium. In a statement made available to, FAM commercial manager Casper Jangale dubbed this initiative a mission revenge for the 12-0 humiliation which Ghana inflicted on Malawi on October 15, 1962. “50 years ago and to be exact, on 15th October 1962, Gold Coast as Ghana was known,

toured Nyasaland [Malawi] and mercilessly hammered our forefathers in the beautiful game of soccer by 12 goals to nothing,” Jangale said. “Our forefathers did not reply at all back then as they were just picked from the streets and it did not matter at all. It matters now as our Flames are 90 minutes away from booking a flight to South Africa where the AFCON 2013 finals will be held. “That is why Football Association of Malawi (FAM) is calling on our football army of supporters, clad in red Flames

“There is no panic over Yobo’s injury, we are just motivated to secure the ticket and reassure him that we will all be together at South Africa 2013,” Keshi said stressing that though Papa Idris is out through injury, another Kano Pillars’ central defender- Umar Zango is in the squad. Yobo’s deputy and first choice goalkeeper, Vincent Enyeama, would step in to lead the team against Liberia on Saturday in the final round of the Nations Cup qualifier.

win all their matches and that is what we expect from the Eagles. “They should win this weekend in Calabar and save us the headache of any mathematics as regards qualification.” Keshi’s contract is tied to a performance clause which stipulated he qualified Nigeria to the Nations Cup in South Africa and reach at least the last four of the biennial tournament.

...As NFF warns Keshi


he Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has warned Super Eagles head coach, Stephen Keshi, against complacency in Saturday’s decisive qualifying game for the sole ticket to the 2013 Nations Cup. The Eagles host the Lone Stars in the match needing a barren draw to secure the ticket to South Africa for the continental finals. But the NFF has warned against anything that could deny Nigeria the ticket as happened last year when the Eagles were held to 2-2 draw by the Syli Stars of Guinea. Guinea with the away goal advantage and a superior head-tohead advantage edged Nigeria to berth at the finals jointly hosted by Gabon and Equatorial Guinea and won by Zambia. Albeit, Samson Siasia’s allegation of sabotage against some key players had considerable public sympathy, nonetheless, he was sacked even as Nigerians watched with dismal the quality of teams on parade at the fiesta in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea. Now, the football federation would brook no excuses. According to the NFF director of technical, Dr. Emmanuel Ikpeme, the football federation would accept no excuses for failure. “The federation has given the coach all he needs to give Nigerians result this weekend so there would be no room for excuses. “No national team coach should wait for last minute permutations to qualify for any tournament. Every national team coach should

home Jerseys to go to Civo Stadium this Saturday to avenge the humiliation our forefathers suffered at the hands of Ghana 50 years ago. “ We need not just say the words that we want Ghana to see red but show Ghana by putting on red Flames jerseys which will be available for sale from Thursday (today) at all points of sale where tickets will be sold at only MK5,000.00.” Malawi lost 2-0 in the first leg in Accra and now need to win by a three-goal margin to sneak through to the Nations Cup finals in South Africa.

Stephen Keshi

125-man Liberia delegation arrives today


inally, after playing hide and seek over its arrival date, the Liberia Football Association has informed the Nigeria Football Federation that its delegation for Saturday’s 2013 African Cup of Nations qualifying cracker against the Super Eagles will arrive in the country today. The letter from the LFA simply stated that the contingent of 125 persons, comprising players of the Lone Star, technical and backroom staff, LFA officials, government functionaries, media representatives and supporters will storm Calabar in a chartered aircraft. But the arrival time was not stated. Noentheless, the NFF has arranged for the delegation to be accommodated at the Channels View Hotel, while match officials, led by Match Commissioner, El Hadj Moucharaf Anjorin from Benin Republic will stay at the Axari Hotel. The Confederation of African Football has picked South African match officials to take charge of the crucial game, with school teacher Daniel Bennett at the centre. Meanwhile, officials of the NFF have confirmed that the Lone Star will have a feel of the U. J. Esuene Stadium this evening, while the U-17 Team of Guinea, billed to take on the Golden Eaglets in a 2013 African U-17 Championship qualifier on Sunday, to take their turn on the turf tomorrow.



Angolan clubs qualify for African champions basketball league


he Angolan senior male basketball teams, 1º de Agosto and Petro de Luanda, will represent the country in the final phase of the African champions league. The tournament had been scheduled to run from Nov. 29 to Dec. 8 in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea. To qualify for the final phase of the competition, 1º Agosto and Petro de Luanda occupied the first and second positions respectively in the zone 4 tournament that ended on Oct. 7 in Maputo, Mozambique. In the last round, 1º de Agosto y thrashed Heroes of Zambia 110-49, while Petro de Luanda defeated Ferroviário de Maputo 64-39.

Gambians to dialogue on sports development


ambia’s National Sports Council will organise a national dialogue on sports development in the West African country, the council announced in a statement received in Dakar on Tuesday. According to the statement, the “National Dialogue on Sustainable Sports Development” will run from Oct. 13 to Oct. 14 at Gambia’s Independence Stadium and Friendship Hotel in ‘Bakau Town’. Mamudou Max Jallow, the Executive Secretary of Gambia’s National Sports Council, urged all those sports-loving people to contribute toward the dialogue. Meanwhile, the Gambia is busy trying to develop its various sporting sectors. The world’s football governing body, FIFA, recently gave a sixmonth extension to the Gambia Football Association (GFA)’s, “ N o r m a l i s a t i o n Committee’’ to finalise its statutes and hold election. The first six-month period given to the committee elapsed without the GFA sorting out some of the problems facing it.

Association wants karate introduced in Kwara schools


he Chairman, Kwara Karate Association, Alhaji Suleiman Ishola, has appealed to secondary school principals in the state to introduce karate in their institutions. Ishola made the call in Ilorin at the inaugural meeting of the association held at the Indoor Sports Hall of the Kwara Stadium, Ilorin. Karate is a Japanese system of fighting using hands and feet as weapons. The chairman, who is also the Deputy AccountantGenearal of the state, said there was the need to tap

Young Alex Mukuka junior showing his fighting skills during a karate talents at the grassroots, especially in schools. According to him, developing karate from the grassroots will be the focus of the association in the next four years. Ishola urged parents to encourage their wards to actively participate in sports, noting that karate as a self-defence exercise promotes healthy living. He pledged to sponsor the first inter-secondary schools karate tournament to be hosted by Sapati International School, Ilorin, in November.

NFF board member denies embezzling N1m A

lhaji Ahmed Kawu, a board member of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), on Monday in Abuja denied reports in some sections of the media that he embezzled about N1 million. The amount was part of the N5 million approved by the NFF to run the activities of the Nigeria Nationwide League (NNWL). Kawu, who is also the chairman of the league, said that the allegation was the handiwork of detractors, who did not want the development of football in the country. The chairman said that the money was given as part payment to Vitalis Asonuka, a contractor, who furnished the secretariat of the league at the cost of N7 million. He said that the money was to enable Asonuka embark on his journey to the United States of America where a surgery had been arranged to correct his sight. “It all started when we were directed in a letter by Mohammed Sanusi, the NFF Director of Competition, to leave the football secretariat, an accommodation was given to us, but it was not furnished and we had no money. “We advertised to enable us get those that can help us furnish the office. Our aim was to have a befitting office where sponsors can come and do business. “Somebody eventually emerged and we told him that we had no money to execute the contract, but that he would be paid as soon as we get money. He furnished our office for N7 million,” he said. Kawu said, “Unfortunately the man (contractor) fell sick after three months and was about losing his sight. He came begging us if we can give him part of his money after securing a United States visa where he was to be operated upon to enable him regain his sight. “Since we were still waiting for the release of the N5 million approved by the FA board, I took him to the General Secretary, Musa Amadu. “I thought that he will understand and release our money because the man deserved to be helped, but he said there was no money. “Finally, he released N1 million to us on loan, so we

decided to give it to the man, he helped us so why won’t we help him by giving him part of his money?” he asked. Kawu pointed out that the money was handed over to Asonuka after due consultation with board members of the NNWLeague. He commended the NFF board for their doggedness in changing the fortunes of football in the country, in spite of efforts by some football administrators to frustrate the development of the game because of their personal ambition. “I have never embezzled any money since I became the Chairman of the league, and also NFF board member. In fact, the Nationwide League Board does not have enough money to run its activities not to talk of embezzlement. “I was a Special Adviser to a former governor. I controlled huge amount of money in 2009 as chairman of the local organising committee (LOC) in Kano, for the FIFA U-20 World Championship. “I handled about N2 billion for the upgrading of our facilities, why should I stoop so low now to squander N1 million,” Kawu said.

Musa Amadu, NFF Gen. Sec.

18th NSF: Kogi battle ready for medals, says coach


efiya Onubaye, the Assistant Chief Coach of Kogi State Sports Council, has said that Team Kogi would excel at the 18th National Sports Festival (NSF), in spite of the ongoing environmental challenges. Onubaye said in Lagos that the State’s Sports Council would do everything within its means to do the state proud at the NSF. The assistant coach, who also lectures at the National Institute for Sports (Nisport) Lagos, stressed that the athletes were currently being put through in their various disciplines. Onubaye added that the state’s athletes and officials would strive hard to position Kogi state in the topmost part of the medals table to complement their preparation on the training ground. “The havoc wrecked by flood in some areas of the state will not militate against our good performance at the National Sports Festival. “We are prepared for the festival and battle ready to compete very well, to appear on the medal table. We will do our best to get the gold medals, I assure you,’’ the assistant coach said. Some parts of Lokoja, the Kogi capital and its environs, have been submerged in floods, following the rise of the water level of the River Niger. The development also disrupted daily activities in the capital city of the North Central state, including sports. The biennial sports festival tagged “Eko 2012’’, will hold from November 27 to December 9 in Lagos.



Bolt plans to defend Olympic sprint titles in Rio


sain Bolt says he intends to defend his O l y m p i c 100m and 200m sprint titles at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games. The Jamaican, who retained both titles as well as the 4x100m in London, said he has decided against switching to either the 400m or long jump. “To do the three, that is the focus, I don’t want to try any different events at Rio. I will just defend my titles to show the world there’s a possibility I can do it again,” he said. The 26-year-old insisted he has no intention of easing off in his training. Bolt, who also holds the 100m and 200m world records, said he aimed to run

even faster next year, during which the World Championships will be held in Moscow. He added: “It’s all about hard work. When I was doing great when I was young, people used to say I was fast for my age, but I have put a lot of work into it since I was a senior athlete. “I continue to work hard, continue staying focused and pushing myself. So for me that am the focus right now - to see how fast I can go and I definitely try to go faster each year.” Bolt became the first man to retain both Olympic sprint titles when he led home a Jamaica clean sweep in a time of 19.32 seconds in the 200m in London in August, with Yohan Blake in

silver and Warren Weir in bronze. It came

after he had seen off Blake’s challenge to win the 100m in 9.63 seconds, just 0.05 seconds slower than his own staggering world record, in what was a new Olympic best. Speaking after he had completed his second Olympic sprint treble, Bolt had cast doubt on his participation in the events in Rio when he said: “My coach wants me to do 400m, I want to try long jump. It’s just about making different goals, there’s a lot of things I can do in the sport.

Usain Bolt

Governor’s Cup: ITF names Lawal in main draws


he International Tennis Federation ( ITF) has listed Nigeria’s Shehu Lawal among the 20-man main draws players in the Men’s Singles of the first week of this year’s Governor’s Cup. The annual competition now in its 12th edition would hold between October 12 and October 29 at the Lagos Lawn Tennis Club, Lagos. The ITF website listed the number 1409 ranked right handed Lawal in the main draw based on its current ranking. The website, however, listed two

other ITF-ranked players, Clifford Enosorogbe (1469) and Onyeka Mbanu (1669) among other Nigerian players that would fight for the main draws slots in the qualifiers. Others in the Men’s Singles qualifiers, according to the website were Kehinde Alade, Destiny FordDa Silva, Monday Igbinovia, Samuel Omolie, Ganiyu Yussuf, Pekun Akingbade, Sunday Igbinovia, Omolayo Kazeem Rasaki, Sanni Adamu and Bolaji Olawepo. In the Women’s Singles, Nigeria

female number one player, Fatimah Abinu is leading the pack in the qualifiers, though she was favoured to get the wild card slot. Other players include Christie Agugbom, Chinenye Ndidi Izuogu, Blessing Samuel, Blessing Anuna and Osariemen Airhunmwunde. “They still have to pass through rigorous qualifying matches and through wild cards which are usually giving by ITF to the host country for less qualified players on the ranking,” the website said. The championship jointly sponsored by First City Monument Bank (FCMB) Plc and Etisalat Nigeria has two legs.

Kebede is first Ethiopian to win Chicago Marathon


Andy Murray

Murray rejects number one ranking


ndy Murray does not expect to finish the year as world number one. Roger Federer has tipped the Scot to take over his mantle as the best player in the world following his US Open win. And whilst the top ranking is in Murray’s sights, he believes Novak Djokovic will be crowned the new number one ahead of him. “It will be very difficult to finish the year as number one,” he said. “I think Novak is too far off and guaranteed that.” However, the 25-year-old added: “I will keep working hard and focus for the rest of the year and hopefully have a chance next year.” Murray was speaking ahead of his attempt to win a third Shanghai Masters title in succession. The current world number three goes into the tournament after losing to Canada’s Milos Raonic in the semi-finals of the Rakuten Open in Tokyo on Sunday. He was given a bye in the first round in China and faces the winner of the match between Bernard Tomic and Florian Mayer in his next game.

segaye Kebede became the first Ethiopian man to win the Chicago Marathon by capturing Sunday’s 35th running in a course record with compatriot Atsede Baysa taking the women’s title by a stride. Kebede surged in the final mile to win in two hours, four minutes and 38 seconds and defeat countryman Feyisa Lilesa by 14 seconds with Tilahun Regassa third in 2:05:26 in his marathon debut to complete an Ethiopian men’s podium sweep. Kebede’s victory snapped a run of consecutive Chicago victories by Kenyan men at nine. The former men’s course mark was 2:05:37 last year by Kenyan Moses Mosop. In a women’s duel in doubt until the last second, Ethiopia’s Baysa edged Kenya’s Rita Jeptoo, the 2006

Tsegaye Kebede

Boston Marathon winner, at the finish line. Baysa was given an official time of 2:22:03, a personal best by one second, with Jeptoo second at 2:22:04 and Kenya’s Lucy Kabuu third, 38 seconds adrift. Liliya Shobukhova failed in her bid for a fourth Chicago Marathon title in a row, the 24-year-old Russian settling for fourth, 56 seconds off the pace. Russia’s Maria Konovolova led early and Shobukhova led halfway but the lead pack began to surge after 20 miles and Shobukhova fell off the pace. MEN’S RESULTS 1. Tsegaye Kebede (Ethiopia) 2:04:38 2. Feyisa Lilesa (Ethiopia) 2:04:52 3. Tilahun Regassa (Ethiopia) 2:05:26 4. Sammy Kitwara (Kenya) 2:05:53 5. Wesley Korir (Kenya) 2:06:13 6. Bernard Kipyego (Kenya) 2:06:39 7. Samuel Ndungu (Kenya) 2:07:26 8. Dadi Yami (Ethiopia) 2:07:43 9. Dathan Ritzenhein (US) 2:07:47 10. Abdullah Dawit Shami (Ethiopia) 2:08:39 WOMEN’S RESULTS 1. Atsede Baysa (Ethiopia) 2:22:04 2. Rita Jeptoo (Kenya) 2:22:04 3. Lucy Wangui (Kenya) 2:22:41 4. Liliya Shobukhova (Russia) 2:22:59 5. Caroline Rotich (Kenya) 2:23:23 6. Mariya Konovalova (Russia) 2:25:39 7. Fatuma Sado (Ethiopia) 2:26:09 8. Renee Metivier Baillie (US) 2:27:17 9. Dorothy McMahan (US) 2:32:11 10. Stephanie Pezzullo (US) 2:32:42

Shobukhova was unable to finish the London Olympic marathon because of stomach cramps and has been nagged by injuries this year but last year won the event in 2:18:20. Kebede, third at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, moved to the front of the lead pack after 30 kilometres and by the 35km mark he was out with Regassa and Lilesa, who was third at last year’s world championships. Once Regassa slowed in the 23rd mile, it was a two-man show. Both leaders ran under 2:05:00 for the first time in their careers, but 2010 Chicago runner-up Kebede pulled away from Lilesa in the last half mile for the victory. Kenya’s Sammy Kitwara was fourth with countryman Wesley Korir, last year’s Chicago runnerup and this year’s Boston Marathon champion, in fifth.

Atsede Baysa



Didier Drogba stands for far more than football figure in Ivory Coast. The former Chelsea legend has a cult image across the world. When conflicts arise and even when civil war was raging in his country ahead of Les Elephants’ participation at the 2006 FIFA World Cup, Drogba emerged as a strong symbol to play a pivotal role and use the integrative force of football to unite a whole nation. After all, scoring the winner in the UEFA Champions League final and being a symbol of hope for Côte d’Ivoire are not considered big burdens by Drogba, but as a “feeling of pride” he has embodied throughout his career. met up with the emblematic striker in Abidjan to discuss the symbiotic relationship between football and development, and his own mission off the pitch.


o what extent can football be used as a tool for social development in Côte d’Ivoire? I think in recent years it has become clear that football has played an important role here in Côte d’Ivoire, not only on a political level during the crisis that affected the whole country, but particularly with regard to the development of Côte d’Ivoire and of its people. Many players have been trained here and have gone on to become big stars in Europe, like the Toure brothers and Salomon Kalou, so football plays a key role in Côte d’Ivoire. You played a vital role yourself in 2005 in bringing peace to Côte d’Ivoire. Could you tell us a bit about that and explain how football can be used to bridge the divide that separates the country? I believe that what we experienced in 2005 was a key moment, an historic moment. We couldn’t help but be swept along by the events, and it was the love of our country, its passion for football, that led us to put out that message, and I believe that because of that, we managed to avoid a tragedy. (After qualifying for the FIFA World Cup in 2005, the Côte d’Ivoire players launched a national appeal for reconciliation.) In the past, you have played some international matches surrounded by rocket launchers and with a number of weapons in the stadium. What is the situation today? That only happened once. It surprised us and was because of the situation at the time, when the country was in a state of crisis. It’s part of our history, the history of Côte d’Ivoire, but things have changed since then, lots of things have happened. We’re trying to move forward, we’re trying to get back on our feet, to show people through football that we can live together. What does the national team, Les Elephants, mean to people here? The national team means a lot to this country. I think that today and I choose my words carefully here it is Côte d’Ivoire’s only unifying force. It’s the national team of Côte d’Ivoire. All our ethnic groups are now represented in the team Baoulés, Bétés, and so on. They are all there. So there’s a complete cross-section in the Côte d’Ivoire team and I think that it’s the only good example there is today. Of course, there are other sports in Côte d’Ivoire, but football is currently the most popular one, and it’s the sport that brings the whole country together in my view, whereas in everyday life that isn’t necessarily the case. And what sort of pressure does that mean for you? There’s the pressure of scoring the winning penalty in the Champions League final, but it’s another form of pressure altogether when you know that your whole country is counting on you. I don’t think of that as pressure, it’s more a feeling of pride that you have been selected out of so many players. I was lucky enough to be selected from millions of people to represent my country, so it’s not pressure, it’s pride, it’s an honour. Could you tell us what you have achieved so far and w h a t y o u hope to

It would be really great for this generation to qualify for the Brazil World Cup. And if it happened, we would certainly be aiming higher than finishing third in our group. Didier Drogba

achieve in the future through your foundation? T h e D i d i e r Drogba Foundation was created in 2005 and we made sure we didn’t grow too fast, we have made a lot of donations to orphanages, hospitals, we have tried to grow and to focus more on helping the people

Yaya Toure

who need it. The areas that the foundation works in are health, education and children. We tried to choose areas that affect Africa as a whole; it’s a foundation that doesn’t only operate in Côte d’Ivoire, but all over Africa. We were also able to make donations to Haiti and other countries like Japan that have been hit by earthquakes. So the aim of our foundation is to collect donations, we have organised a number of charity dinners in London with stars who came to help promote our foundation. So we’ve collected some donations with a view to building clinics here in Côte d’Ivoire because after the crisis that hit the country, I think there has been a lack of funds and so it’s a way for me to make a contribution, to help the country in a small way to get back on its feet. There will be more projects and schools, because education is the foundation of everything. What led you to create this foundation? As a footballer you could have an easy life, do whatever you like... No, I don’t think so, although not many footballers have set up foundations, they give donations to help. It’s just that they don’t necessarily have the profile that I have. So like I say, I feel privileged because I have a bigger profile, but I know a lot of players who get involved. Take Emmanuel Eboué’s foundation, for example I was at his gala three months ago, which he held to try and create jobs; people don’t talk about it much because it’s not Didier Drogba, but what he’s doing is fantastic. So we have to encourage this kind of attitude. What led me to do it was, when I come here and see the conditions that my compatriots live in, I can’t change everything, I just do what I can, to make everyday life a bit more comfortable. FIFA has carried out many projects in Côte d’Ivoire, such as a course for coaches, which took place in September. To what extent do you think that projects like this can help to develop football in the country? It’s important, I am very grateful to FIFA because a lot of young people want to be like Yaya Touré, Emmanuel Eboué or me, so it’s important to have an organisation like FIFA to support young people and to make sure that educators in Côte d’Ivoire can improve and share their knowledge with young people. So it’s a very good initiative and one that should be encouraged. Côte d’Ivoire has some of the best players not only in Africa but in the world, but this generation has yet to win any silverware. You came very close at the last CAF Africa Cup of Nations. What is it that you need if you are to win the tournament at last? If it ever happens, it would mean a lot to the country. For me and my team-mates, of course it would be a great trophy to have, a just reward for these past ten years, when we’ve worked so hard and tried to carry the country. And for the people of Côte d’Ivoire, who have been waiting more than 20 years, it would be truly wonderful. How has Côte d’Ivoire managed to produce so many brilliant players over the last ten to 15 years? I think it has been based on sound ideas, on having training centres, but also on continuity. Because in Africa in general, when a new generation comes along, everyone looks after it but no-one thinks about what is to come. You live in the moment, you don’t think about the next ten to 15 years. So I think that Côte d’Ivoire was lucky to have people who were able to look ten years ahead. What would it mean to you to play in the FIFA World Cup in Brazil? It would be massive to qualify for the World Cup, for a small country like Côte d’Ivoire, a country that had never taken part (before 2006). We were the first to do it and it would be really great for this generation to qualify for the Brazil World Cup. And if it happened, we would certainly be aiming higher than finishing third in our group.




a/ Amir Khan says he hopes new trainer Virgil Hunter will make him a complete fighter. b/ Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Walter Samuel all enjoyed derbies to remember this week, while runs ended for both River Plate and Brad Friedel, and Seattle Sounders' fans created a new club record.




c/ Stuart Broad says Kevin Pietersen will be welcomed back into the England dressing-room when he returns to the side.


d/ Andres Iniesta says that he is "offended" at being called a diver by Pepe, especially considering the Real Madrid defender's previous record. e/ United States AntiDoping Agency says Lance Armstrong's team ran the "most sophisticated doping programme the sport has ever seen". f/ England flanker Tom Croft may return to club action by the end of October according to Leicester boss Richard Cockerill. g/ Andy Murray receives a walkover into the third round of the Shanghai Masters as his opponent Florian Mayer withdraws injured.






Say what?

Source: Reader's Digest

FACTS * People with initials that spell out GOD or ACE are likely to live longer than people whose initials spell out words like APE, PIG, or RAT. More people in the United States die during the first week of the month than during the last, an increase that may be a result of the abuse of substances purchased with benefit checks that come at the beginning of each month. * In the film Forrest Gump, all the still photos show Forrest with his eyes closed.


* There are an average of 18,000,000 items for sale at any time on EBay. * The New York Times reports that in February 2004, 62% of all e-mail was spam.

1 Green semi-precious stone (4) 3 Wireless enthusiasts (5,3) 9 Mystified (7) 10 Shot (5) 11 Nobleman’s land (5) 12 Spread out from a furled state (6) 14 Raised base (6) 15 Metal container (3,3) 18 ‘I’ve seen this before’ feeling (4,2) 20 Narrow field of vision diminishing towards the horizon (5) 22 Cereal grain (5) 23 Horse’s tuft of hair, behind the pastern (7) 25 Exam success measure (4,4) 26 Song of praise (4)

1 Boom of a crane (3) 2 Attitude where you reject criticism (13) 4 Warmth of feeling (6) 5 Conclude (from evidence) (5) 6 Account of your problems, appealing for sympathy (4-4,5) 7 A la__, trendy (4) 8 Cauliflower sprig (6) 11 Be sullen (4) 13 __ Friel, Beth Jordache in Brookside (4) 16 Ask to come (6) 17 Batter (6) 19 Dramatic performer (5) 21 Trade (4) 24 Person’s relatives (3)

* In 1993, David McLean developed lung cancer. He died on October 12, 1995. McLean's death made him the second Marlboro Man to die of lung cancer. Another actor, Wayne McLaren, died in 1992 at the age of 51 from lung cancer.

Source: Weird facts



* U.K. telecom provider Telewest Broadband is testing a device that hooks to your PC and wafts a scent when certain e-mails arrive.

* There is a bar in London that sells vaporized vodka, which is inhaled instead of sipped.

Quick CrossWord (45)

Yesterday’s answer

This strongman is snout for victory as he carries two pigs in a bizarre race. The muscular runner had to dash 100ft with the porkers weighing more than 7st.Hundreds of fellas pounded the streets for the Hercules challenge at a fitness festival in Hunan province, China..

. . . putting the people first



Messi's ex-bodyguard "robbed 500 banks"


arcelona once hired a bodyguard for Lionel Messi with a record of robbing 500 banks! Daniel Rojo spoke his time protecting Messi in a revealing interview with Gazzetta dello Sport. "In my life I’ve robbed 500 banks. I was addicted to the high life, cars and expensive clothes, and drugs. I started when I was 15 years old and then I became a professional," revealed Rojo. “In 1997 I decided to change my life and joined the world of soccer. In 2006 I started working for Barcelona. At the time, (Frank) Rijkaard was the coach and the team would send me to pick up players who had too much to drink at nightclubs and couldn’t drive.” On Messi, Rojo continued: “One day they sent me to pick him up after training. Messi is a humble kid and when he ate he would sit next to me and I would tell him about my life. He didn’t have much to say, in his life he hadn’t done anything beside train and play soccer. They also wouldn't let him go out with girls, only now has he discovered what it means to live." He continued: “I haven’t been in charge of them for a couple of years but everyone once in a while we cross paths. Last year I went to see a Barcelona game with my friend and I ran across Leo who was accompanied by two gorgeous girls. "Afterwards, I found out that one was his girlfriend, Antonella Roccuzzo, and the other was (Javier) Mascherano’s wife and I went out to eat with them. At the end of the night, Leo drove me home with me sitting in the backseat."

Lionel Messi


0803 0805 0803 0805 0803

QUO TABLE Q UO TE UOT QUO UOTE Indeed, October 10 2012 is the beginning of the struggle for the destiny of the Bakassi people. — Hon. Saviour Nyong, member, Cross River House of Assembly reacting to Nigeria’s decision not to appeal ICJC ceding of Bakassi to Cameroun in 2002

Mubi killings, Boko Haram and Jonathan's options S

ome people have put the fatality figure of the Independence Day massacre in Mubi, Adamawa state, at 40 with the Federal Polytechnic in the town accounting for 26 while both the state university and the School of Health Technology accounted for 14 deaths. It was noted that "some of those killed were final year students who were preparing to defend their academic projects while others were starting their examinations to move to the next class". From the latest killings, the following stand out as sour facts: There was a highly polarising, ethnically charged student' union election which was contested on sectarian lines (BBC 2012) in the school. The election was also contested along the North versus South divides mainly between Muslim Hausas and predominantly Christian Igbos (AFP 2012). Some of the winners were among those called out and slaughtered. The Southern winner in the presidential category was one of them. Victims included Christians and Muslims Protective curfew was vacated just before the attack. A lecturer's curiosity was particularly stirred on his way to Mubi when he observed and "noted a large contingent of military personnel being moved out of town". Victims were specifically targeted as names were called out from a prepared list. Residents and relations of the victims believed that the attack was carried out by Boko Haram Probable conclusion: it was a Boko Haram's typical attack - as usual, precise, merciless, overwhelmingly shocking and under the radar of the military. An insider, perhaps an aggrieved loser or his associates, who caucuses with Boko Haram deemed it appropriate to teach the 'infidels' a lesson, wrote their names and handed same over to his group. Rather than the erroneous conclusion attributed to the police that calling out names means the attackers knew the victims and were therefore cult members, on the contrary the action is a strong evidence that the attackers did not know the victims. They

311 689 606 327 454

7458 1765 3308 1969 0344


President Goodluck Jonathan needed the list in order to identify their targets - the election winners and their 'collaborators' whose names had been handed down. Because of the ethnic mix of the school and the spread of off-campus accommodations, these would naturally include Muslims, Christians, Northerners and Southerners as well as those victims that were just collateral damages. Jam?'atu Ahlis Sunnah L?dda'awatih wal-Jihad or Boko Haram is the dreaded Islamic sectarian militant group that is committed to the propagation of the Prophet's Teachings and Jihad. Since 2009, the group has intensified its campaign in the Northern part of Nigeria. So far, it appears to have had the upper hand. Its assurance of unfettered capacity to strike when and where it deems fit has repeatedly been proven right by the seeming incapacity of the government to effectively curtail its actions. In understanding the Boko Haram saga, it is good to recognize its attributes by highlighting certain patterns of behaviour that have come to define its operations. Boko Haram kills without mercy (using bombs, guns, and axes, machetes or swords). In Mubi, as a replacement for one of their targets, the gunmen killed the

father. It is prepared to go to any length to accomplish its objective and protect the identities of its operatives. It is ready to sacrifice even its members to maintain its campaign (Babakura Fugu was killed on September 17, 2011 after Chief Olusegun Obasanjo commenced his effort to broker a truce between Boko Haram and government). Boko Haram (or at least, its leadership) is made up of highly intelligent people. Its staying power and evasive tactics suggest that it is actively or tacitly backed and supported by highly intelligent individuals. It is erroneous to classify its members as miscreants even though so called 'social miscreants' could be in the majority as it is with most organizations but it does appear that the role of these 'miscreants' is mainly as expendables responsible for last mile activities. The Obasanjo parley was a strategic ace move by the former president and his facilitator, Mallam Shehu Sani, the President of the Kaduna based Civil Rights Congress of Nigeria. Their effort could have fundamentally altered the organization's terror trajectory and subsequently undermined its cohesion from within. But by swiftly liquidating the intermediary (Babakura Fugu) with such speed and military precision, Boko Haram was able to protect its identity (the identity of the brains behind its activities), secure a united home, project itself as having invincible capacity to fatally punish erring or dissenting members thereby guaranteeing willing, voluntary as well as coerced or forced loyalty. There have been prior radical tendencies, which latched on to religious or spiritual thirst of the people, to unleash chaos against members of opposite religions

and ethnic nationalities. Globally, both Islam and Christendom have had a fair share of this as aggressors through the ages. Since the creation of Nigeria, however, one of such was the Maitatsine (1980-1982) which reportedly claimed over 3,000 lives while half of Yola's population of 60,000 was left homeless. Boko Haram only takes this a notch further by adopting guerrilla tactics and more sophisticated means of destruction. Although, poverty is not the direct cause of the Nigerian killings, it is however the strong negative catalyst that swells the ranks of recruits required for prosecuting the hate agenda. Pervasive poverty guarantees a willing pool of volunteers who are ready and eager to kill or die in any cause that promises a better hereafter compared to the certain hellish experience of abject poverty in Nigeria. The Nigerian government can thus focus on the following: Recognize that lasting solutions to sectarian crises (equally applicable to traditional criminal activities and violent crimes) require honest and genuine far-reaching reforms. The dreaded men of Boko Haram today were ordinary highly promising youngsters some years back who probably would be designing the new propulsion engines and novel green technology today if they had the right exposure at the right time. Activate programmes that can enhance government's ability to meet the pressing needs of its people nationwide. The Nigerian people should see evidence that the 2.3million barrels daily oil sales impact their wellbeing and standard of living directly - not by share clerical admission, the archetypal bandying of GDP figures, but in real indisputable terms. Create opportunities for fair and equitable access to national wealth. The reality that government officials and individual members of parliament earns as much as N200million per annum while the minimum wage is N18, 000 promotes wealth inequality, stokes anti-authority hatred, encourages extreme acts of defiance and recourse to self help.

Published by Peoples Media Limited, 35, Ajose Adeogun Street, 1st Floor Peace Park Plaza, Utako, Abuja. Lagos Office: No.8 Oliyide Street, off Unity Road, Ikeja, Lagos, Tel: +234-09-8734478. Cell: +234 803 606 3308. e-mail:; ISSN: 2141– 6141

Peoples Daily Newspaper, Thursday 11, October, 2012  

Peoples Daily Newspaper, Thursday 11, October, 2012 Edition

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